ST. LOUIS -- Sure, Jedd Gyorko has done everything in his power to torment his former team this week. But Ryan Schimpf has done everything in his power to remind the Padres that they've got a pretty darn good slugger of their own at second base.Schimpf launched a two-run shot
ST. LOUIS -- Sure, Jedd Gyorko has done everything in his power to torment his former team this week. But Ryan Schimpf has done everything in his power to remind the Padres that they've got a pretty darn good slugger of their own at second base.
Schimpf launched a two-run shot in Game 1 of Wednesday's doubleheader -- a 4-2 loss to the Cardinals -- before smacking a solo shot in a 3-2 defeat in the nightcap. He became just the 12th player in Padres history to go deep in both games of a twin bill -- and the first since Ruben Rivera in 1999.
Schimpf said he couldn't recall ever accomplishing that feat at any level. But he added the caveat that it would've been much sweeter with a pair of Padres victories.
"I'm not too worried about it, to be honest with you," Schimpf said. "It's just about winning ballgames. If we won the games and I didn't hit any home runs, that'd be more important."
The Padres have homered in a franchise-record 18 consecutive games, and Schimpf has played no small part. He's gone deep seven times during that stretch -- more than anyone else on the team, including Matt Kemp, who has homered in four straight.
The recent power surge serves as validation that Schimpf's power can indeed translate to the Majors. Counting every level of the Minors, Schimpf has launched at least 22 dingers in each of the last five years.
"I've just always believed in myself," Schimpf said. "And [power] has always kind of been in my game since I was little."
For two months after Cory Spangenberg went down with a quad injury in April, the Padres desperately searched for a replacement, while getting little offensive production at second base.
In mid-June, Schimpf got his callup. He struggled a bit at the start, but when the calendar turned to July, he started mashing. In 46 at-bats this month, he's gone deep seven times.
"During his first 30-40 at-bats, it wasn't like he was off to the races," Padres manager Andy Green said. "But he was having competitive at-bats, he was drawing his walks. Now the power is starting to show. That, he's always had. He extends the lineup very nicely right now."
What is it about Schimpf that suddenly makes him a pivotal part of the Padres' offense?
"Power-and-patience combo," Green said. "That's what wins ballgames, more than anything else. You've got a guy that gets on base and a guy that drives the ball out of the ballpark. Those are the two main things that you look for."
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.