PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Former Mountaineers baseball standout and Morgantown native Jedd Gyorko was back in familiar territory this week for a four-game series with the Padres at PNC Park.
“I was always a big Pirates fan (growing up),” Gyorko said. “They were the closest team and if I wanted to catch a big-league game, I was always driving up here to watch them here in PNC Park. Obviously, it was pretty cool to get to play on that field, a field that I grew up watching.”
Gyorko went 6-for-14 with four RBIs, three runs scored, one homer and four walks a San Diego took three of four from the Pirates.
Back on Tuesday night, in Game 2 of the series, Gyorko led the Padres to a 5-2 win, finishing 3-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored.
“That was probably right up there with the most memorable (moments of the season),” Gyorko said. “Obviously, having family and friends there is fun to see them in the stands—a lot of them haven’t seen me play since college. It’s fun to be back on the east coast and have them be able to watch.”
Gyorko had a terrific month of May into early June, bringing his average up to .284. A groin injury, however, put him on the disabled list for a month.
“I had never missed games like that before,” Gyorko said. “It’s pretty frustrating to have to sit in the dugout and watch, with no control over what happens in the game.”
Once he did get back in the game on July 12, it took a while to get his swing back as his averaged initially dipped to .252 by the end of the month.
“It has definitely been a roller coaster, for sure,” Gyorko said. “There have been a lot of ups and downs, but that’s going to happen throughout the season. You just have to hope the highs stay as long as they can and keep working to make the lows a little bit shorter.”
Defensively, Gyorko has been solid at second base in 106 games there with a fielding percentage of .991. In 13 games at third base, he has a .933 fielding percentage.
“We have some of the best coaches and they’ve worked with me a lot,” he said. “They’ve been getting me in the right positions, working on my first step, working on double plays. They’ve done a great job, and it helps that I’ve played second base before.”
Gyorko will be back out west to finish out the year with series against the Dodgers, Arizona and San Francisco before he makes the trip back to Morgantown with his wife for the offseason.
“We’re looking forward to getting back and seeing some people we haven’t seen for a while and looking forward to getting to relax for a bit,” he said.
As Gyorko’s rookie season winds down, he has 19 home runs and 51 RBIs.