Wong moves to center field, continues to dominate AAA

St. Louis Cardinals' Kolten Wong (16) watches his walk-off home run in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tuesday, July 8, 2014 in St. Louis. The Cardinals beat the Pirates 5-4. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

Kolten Wong’s performance Tuesday was reminiscent of his days as a freshman at the University of Hawaii in 2009.

As a freshman All-American that season, Wong starred in center field while clubbing 11 home runs.

Wong, playing center field for the Redbirds for just the second time in his professional career Tuesday, hit two home runs and threw out a runner trying to score to propel Memphis to a 7-4 win in Nashville.

The Kamehameha-Hawaii graduate smoked the go-ahead run with his second homer of the game in the top of the 10th, and saved a run in the bottom of the 8th by catching Sounds’ runner Matt Olson trying to score from second base on a single.

Wong is now hitting .417 with 4 home runs and 11 runs batted in through just 24 at-bats.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak praised Wong’s ability to respond to the challenge of being sent to Triple-A.

“I’m pleased that he’s getting off to that start,” Mozeliak told Fox Sports Midwest Tuesday. “He’s not down there feeling sorry for himself, so he’s taking advantage of his time. Secondly, when you look at how this club is put together, just trying to find a way to create value for Kolten moving forward.

“We talked to him about playing center field and he was very open to that, so now let him get some work and hopefully when he comes back he can give us that kind flexibility on how we use him,” he added.

The Cardinals have a position of need to fill in center field, with incumbent starter Randal Grichuk hitting just .210 on the year.

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