Joc Pederson enjoys historic stretch after conversation with Bonds


One conversation with Barry Bonds is all it took for San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson to have the best game of his career.

Pederson hit three home runs and drove in a career-high eight runs in a thrilling 13-12 win over the New York Mets on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, in his 11th at-bat against a lefty this season, Pederson hit his fourth home run in two days.

In his on-field interview after Tuesday night’s game, Pederson said he and teammate LaMonte Wade Jr. spent about half an hour talking with Bonds in the cage before their game, and then continued chatting in the clubhouse. Before he knew it, it was 6:25 p.m.

“It just freed my mind up,” Pederson told the Giants’ broadcast. “The way he talks about hitting just helped me out a little bit. I’m still kind of speechless, processing it all I guess.”

Pederson grew up in Palo Alto, California, just 30 miles south of Oracle Park, and idolized Bonds. Just moments after the conversation, Pederson put on a Bonds-like performance.

Pederson became the second Giant to have a three-homer game at Oracle Park and matched the San Francisco-era Giants single-game record for RBIs held by Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and Brandon Crawford.

“I’ve talked to great hitters before, and they weren’t as in-depth as him,” Pederson said. “It was the best hitting conversation that I’ve ever had.”

On Wednesday, San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler rolled the dice and started Pederson against a lefty, something that he hasn’t had much success with over the course of his career.  Pederson proved Kapler’s gut right when he hit a home run in his first at-bat of the game.

“That was strictly self-preservation on my part,” Kapler said to reporters before the game. “I’m all good with trying to get the platoon advantage wherever possible, but I also want to survive the day.”

Over the last two games, Pederson is 5-for-8 with 10 RBIs and two walks. He leads the Giants with 11 home runs, which is tied for third in the National League.

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