ST. LOUIS -- With his two-run homer off Padres starter Eric Stults in the second inning of Thursday's series opener, Jhonny Peralta not only boosted the Cardinals to an early lead, he matched the franchise's single-season record for homers by a shortstop.
Peralta joins Daryl Spencer (1960) and Edgar Renteria (2000) among Cardinals shortstops to hit 16 home runs in a season. Peralta, who leads the club, has another 42 games to push his total even higher. His longest homerless stretch this season has been 18 games.
Signed to a four-year, $53 million deal in November, Peralta has provided the pop that the Cardinals sought at short. A year after the Cardinals ranked 13th in the National League in homers from the position, with four, they trail only the Rockies and Nationals in that category this season.
Peralta ranks third among all Major League shortstops with his 16 homers. He hit six of those in April to set a franchise record by a shortstop in the opening month of the season.
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.