LOS ANGELES -- Adrian Gonzalez has been a leading source of power for the Dodgers in the early going this season, heading into Sunday's series finale with the Rockies having homered in three straight games.
Gonzalez is hitting a robust .309/.362/.649, leading the National League with eight home runs and 61 total bases.
"I'm not a power hitter," Gonzalez said with a smile. "I guess the rest of the guys aren't hitting many."
Gonzalez averaged 33 home runs per season from 2007-2011, but hit 40 total homers in 2012-2013 combined.
"Adrian's been good from the very beginning. From early in spring training he's swung the bat well," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's had his timing early and swung the bat well pretty much all year."
In 2013 Gonzalez hit his eighth home run in his 53rd game, on June 3. This year it took him 25 games. It's the second fastest power start to his career, having hit his eighth and ninth home runs in his 21st game in 2009 in San Diego.
"Seeing him drive the ball to left field like that is a lot more like when I saw him in San Diego," Mattingly said. "Even early last year he had trouble doing it. He couldn't really do it in spring. This year, he had it in spring already. His timing has been good all year."
More and more removed from 2010 shoulder surgery, Gonzalez described his swing as now able to have a good finish.
The home run off Juan Nicasio in the fifth inning on Saturday was his 1,500th hit. Gonzalez got the ball back, though he said he keeps most of his mementos mostly out of sight at home.
"It's a cool accomplishment, but it's not something I really focus on or look into. Obviously it talks more about just being able to be in the league for a little bit," Gonzalez said. "One day I'll go take a peek at them, but they are just in a closet tucked away."
The home run was hit to left field, something Gonzalez did three times all of last year.
I checked Baseball-Reference, which shows three of his home runs this season hit to the left of straight center field, but when I asked him about it he corrected me.
"Third? You're not counting very well," Gonzalez quipped.
Sure enough, checking the ESPN home run tracker, Gonzalez was right.
Can't get anything past him.
Time: 1:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA