LAKELAND, Fla. -- Jhonny Peralta chose to come to Joker Marchant Stadium to face his former team, the Tigers. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny gave him the choice of making the trip, and he decided to.
It also took him exactly one pitch to get the Cardinals on the board and then three more to account for their second run of the game. He homered to left onto the berm in his first at bat and then hit a wind-aided shot to right in the third inning.
"I feel really happy to be here and to face the Detroit Tigers. It's one of the teams I played for a couple of years. I'm excited to hear the fans and everything. I'm excited to play today."
Peralta said he wasn't worried about the reception he would receive -- and he received a solid welcome to Lakeland from Tigers fans, though a fair number of Cardinals fans made the trip as well.
"I don't worry about Detroit fans," he said. "I know Detroit fans are really good fans. In my mind I knew that something good was going to happen. It feels pretty good to hear the fans."