ST. LOUIS -- Having etched his name into the franchise record books with his 17th home run as a shortstop on Tuesday night, Jhonny Peralta has his sights now set on the next milestone: 20.
Any additional home runs Peralta hits this season will further distance himself as the single-season shortstop home run leader for this storied franchise. Peralta has hit 20 homers in a season four times, most recently in 2011. His highest single-season total is 24, reached in '05.
"I don't try to go in the field and try to hit a home run," Peralta said. "Whatever happens in the game is going to happen. I try to do the best for the team. If I hit 20 or more, it would be really good."
Currently, Peralta is the only Cardinals player on pace to have a 20-homer season. Matt Adams and Matt Holliday rank second on the team with 12 home runs. No one else has more than nine.
Peralta has hit seven of his homers (including his last three) at Busch Stadium, where he feels has been more difficult to go deep than Comerica Park, his home park the previous four years. His longest stretch without a homer this year has been 22 days.
"The history is really good for the St. Louis Cardinals," Peralta said. "People pay a lot of attention to everything, the record. For me to be [first in home runs for shortstops], I feel really proud about that and more for this organization."
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.Less