Luke Voit visited the land less traveled Monday night.
Voit walloped his first career major-league home runs, a two-run shot to dead-center in the eighth inning of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 14-6 victory over Miami.
Voit’s shot against Jarlin Garcia had an exit velocity of 105.8 mph and carried 429 feet into the grassy area below the hitting background.
An usher narrowly outraced a fan to the ball, which was presented to Voit immediately after the game.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
“I knew (Garcia) was going to try to blow it by me again, so I was ready for it,” Voit said of a 3-2 fastball over the heart of the plate. “It was a good feeling.”
Voit, a St. Louis native and graduate of Lafayette High, was reminded that the landing spot for his homer was similar to David Freese’s in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series against the Texas Rangers. Freese also is a Lafayette graduate.
“That’s right. I remember watching. Yeah, yeah,” Voit said. “That’s kind of cool to have the Lafayette boys doing it. I’m super-glad I got (the ball).”
Voit, who started at first base, hit 12 home runs at Class AAA Memphis. His minor-league teammates who also have earned promotions to the Cardinals were anything but surprised to see the depth of Voit’s blast.
“You saw Voit come in today and keep pounding the ball like I saw him do in Memphis,” said center fielder Tommy Pham, who was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two walks. “A lot of guys have stepped up and contributed really well.”
Right-hander Adam Wainwright (9-5), who pitched five innings for the victory, commented on Voit’s little leap at home plate after he made connection.
“There was a little Sammy Sosa, too, when he hit that ball to center,” Wainwright said. “He’s hit a few homers. He knows when he gets them. I’m glad he got to do that here for his first one. I’m glad he hit it to the usher so he could get it back. Probably his family and friends get to see it, too.”
Voit gave a sheepish grin when told what Wainwright had said.
“I’m not trying to show anyone up,” he said. “It was just one of those where it felt so good. You just knew you got it.
“It’s been a dream since I can’t remember, since my first game coming here. A home run is a home run. It was definitely something I knew off the bat (was gone). I’m trying to put the barrel on the ball and whatever happens, happens.”
David Wilhelm: @DavidMWilhelm