Welcome to the rivalry: Pederson hits leadoff HR vs. Cards


Joc Pederson is new to the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry, but he wasted no time doing something big.

Pederson batted leadoff in Friday's game against St. Louis and hit a home run on the first pitch of the game. The left fielder turned on a cutter from Carlos Martínez, crushing it to the right-center field bleachers.

Welcome to the rivalry, indeed.

That swing continues Pederson's offensive tear since coming off the injured list earlier this month. The 29-year-old entered Friday hitting .400/.436/.480 in 13 games since returning, although Friday's home run was his first in that span.

Pederson is no stranger to big rivalries, having played the Giants during seven seasons with the Dodgers. But Friday was his first game as a Cub against the Cardinals.

Friday also marked the Cubs' first game in St. Louis since Sept. 29, 2019. All 10 of their games last season were played at Wrigley Field after the Cardinals' COVID-19 outbreak postponed a series in St. Louis.

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