LOS ANGELES -- Adrian Gonzalez pushed his hot streak into overdrive on Wednesday night, hitting a career-high three home runs to lead the Dodgers over the Padres, 7-4 at Dodger Stadium, capturing a sixth straight home series win for the Dodgers over the Padres.
Gonzalez had the 19th game by a Dodger with at least three home runs in a game, and the 17th player to do so. He is the first since teammate Juan Uribe hit three home runs on Sept. 9, 2013 against the Diamondbacks.
Gonzalez was already red hot entering the game, with a home run, double and single in each of his first two games. On Wednesday, Gonzalez homered in the first inning, he homered in the third inning, then homered in the fifth inning. All were solo shots, all were hit to right center field and all were against Padres starter Andrew Cashner, who allowed six runs in his five innings of work.
In the sixth inning Gonzalez batted for the first time all night with runners on base, with runners at the corners and two outs. Left-handed pitcher Frank Garces was brought in to face Gonzalez, and had relative success, holding Gonzalez to an RBI single.
He ended the night in the on-deck circle as Yasiel Puig flew out to end the game. Gonzalez said he wanted Puig to reach base, but not for selfish reasons.
"I was rooting for Puig to get a hit so Puig could get a hit," he said.
On the night, Gonzalez was 4-for-4 with three home runs, a single and four RBI. It was his 27th career game with at least four hits.
Gonzalez is the first player in major league history with five home runs in his team's first three games, per Elias Sports.
"I'm still not a home run hitter," Gonzalez said after the game. "I'm just trying to hit line drives."
Manager Don Mattingly agreed.
"He says his home runs come through his swing, and I think that's true," Mattingly said. "He's making good contact, hitting the ball where it's supposed to be hit. He's trying to hit the ball hard, with a really good swing, and he can do it to all areas of the field."
Gonzalez is the first player in the National League with three or more hits in his team's first three games since Orlando Cepeda in 1963.
Dating back to last season, Gonzalez has a home run in five straight games, tying a Dodges franchise record, last accomplished by Matt Kemp in 2010.
Kemp had two hits of his own on Wednesday, and was 5-for-13 (.385) with a double and a walk in the series, but the story of the night and the series was Gonzalez.
On the season, he is merely 10-for-13 with five home runs and two doubles, hitting .769/.769/2.077.
Update: No teams have more home runs than Adrian Gonzalez. You can start inscribing that player of the week trophy now.— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) April 9, 2015
He made a winner out of Brandon McCarthy, who was at times dazzling in his own right with nine strikeouts in five innings in his Dodgers debut before the wheels came off.
Joel Peralta, the only Dodgers relief pitcher not to pitch on Tuesday night, pitched a scoreless ninth for the save, the second different pitcher on the team with a save so far this season. Peralta struck out Kemp to end the game, and the series.
Home runs: Adrian Gonzalez 3 (5); Justin Upton (1), Will Middlebrooks (1)
WP - Brandon McCarthy (1-0): 5 IP, 9 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts
LP - Andrew Cashner (0-1): 5 IP, 8 hits, 6 runs (5 earned), 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
Sv -(1): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout