Adrian Gonzalez hits three homers to power Dodgers to 7-4 win

Adrian Gonzalez hits three home runs in the Dodgers' 7-4 victory over the Padres

He did it again. Then again. And then again. Very repetitive, in that wonderful kind of way.

By the time Adrian Gonzalez was finished breaking records for the night, he had hit three home runs Wednesday, which only gave him five in the first three games of the season. Not that it’s a big deal or anything, but no other player in major league history has hit five homers in a team’s first three games.

And baseball’s only been around since 1869.

By the time Gonzalez was through changing the record books, the Dodgers had defeated the Padres, 7-4, before a Dodger Stadium sellout crowd of 52,204.

Gonzalez is in that kind of zone where the baseball must look like the size of the moon. In his first three games, he is 10 for 13, which makes for a nifty .769 batting average. It's possible he will not be able to keep up that pace.

All three homers Wednesday night were solo shots. No team in baseball currently has hit more than his five home runs.

He’s also had at least three hits in each of the first three games, becoming the first National League player to pull that off since Orlando Cepeda for the San Francisco Giants in 1963.

All five of his home runs have been against right-handed pitchers. His three home runs Wednesday were against Padres starter Andrew Cashner, all hit to right field. When he came up for a fourth time in the sixth with runners on the corners, Padres Manager Bud Black called on left-hander Frank Garces.

Gonzalez settled for an RBI single.

All this power from a guy who kept telling people last season his days as a home-run hitter were behind him. Of course, then he went out and hit a team-high 27 homers.

Gonzalez, who turns 33 next month, has belted 267 home runs during his 12-year career. Never before, however, has he hit three in one game.

The victory went to right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who was making his Dodgers’ debut. He  got off to a rocky start when he gave up a pair of runs in the first inning on a Justin Upton home run, but then McCarthy threw four strong innings before appearing to run out of steam in the sixth, when he gave up two more runs.

In his five-plus innings, he was charged with four runs on nine hits and a walk. He struck out nine.

The Dodgers’ bullpen, which had an up-and-down first two games, held the Padres in check over the last four innings thanks to Paco Rodriguez, Pedro Baez, J.P. Howell and Joel Peralta.

Peralta earned the save, matching his total all of last season for Tampa Bay. It was the 13th save of his 12-year career.

It was the 11th time in Los Angeles Dodgers history a player has hit three homers in one game. 

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