Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/8/13
There is more to Jedd Gyorko than the bat and the ability to play second base. The Padres love the baseball instincts of their rookie infielder. “He knows how the game is played how it works” Padres manager Bud Black said recently of Gyorko. “He is ahead when it comes to baseball instincts. He knows.” Saturday night all facets of Gyorko’s game came into play as the Padres scored a second straight final-at-bat one-run decision over the Rockies at Petco Park. Offensively Gyorko’s opposite-field homer leading off the eighth -- on the first pitch offered by Rockies reliever Matt Belisle – snapped a 1-1 tie and led the Padres to their 2-1 win. Gyorko’s 17th homer of the season just cleared the glove of Colorado right fielder Michael Cuddyer and landed atop the message board. It was Gyorko’s first homer since his two-homer game on Aug. 23. Defensively Gyorko started one double play roamed to both sides on a pair of grounders and made a running catch down the right field line. But his biggest play Saturday night won’t show up in the boxscore. With Michael Cuddyer running from first with one out in the ninth Gyorko deked the Rockie as he slid into the bag at second – making it look like Gyorko was setting to take a throw. Instead the ball off the bat of Nolan Arenado was actually skied toward Alexi Amarista in center field. The extra second that Cuddyer needed to locate Arenado’s fly gave Amarista just enough time to throw behind Cuddyer to first to complete a game-ending double play. Afterwards Black lauded the play of Gyorko. “You saw one swing of the bat for the homer” said Black. “And then you saw the instincts and in-game awareness.” “You do that hoping it helps and obviously it did” said Gyorko. “Anything to help the team. Something as simple as that can make a big difference in a game.” The game-ending play marked the second time Saturday night that a Padres outfielder threw out a runner to complete a double play. In the sixth Will Venable caught a Yorvit Torrealba drive on a head-first dive toward the line in right and doubled Todd Helton off second.
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