LOS ANGELES -- Having already earmarked Saturday as a good time to rest Jhonny Peralta, manager Mike Matheny stuck with that decision despite Peralta's recent roll.
Peralta delivered the game-winning RBI in Friday's 3-1 win over the Dodgers and, in doing so, extended his hitting streak to eight games. While his average and on-base percentage still remain below his career averages in both, Peralta remains one of the most productive pieces in the Cardinals' lineup. He leads the team with 11 homers, 22 doubles and 33 extra-base hits.
"Right now, I feel pretty good with how I'm feeling," Peralta said. "It is a good time for me, and I'm swinging pretty good right now."
Signed primarily because of what he could offer with the bat, Peralta has somewhat surprisingly had just as much impact on the defensive end. The Cardinals lead the Majors with 58 defensive runs saved, and topping the team's individual player list is Peralta, with 12. No shortstop in the Majors has been credited with more.
"We just saw very consistent through Spring Training," Matheny said. "At the beginning of the year, you could see that everything at him he was making. But now, he's just making crazy good plays. Just continues to impress me."
Saturday marked just the second time in the last month that Peralta was out of the team's starting lineup. Daniel Descalso started in his place.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.