Have a day Adrian Gonzalez. The Dodgers were able to take the rubber game of the three game series from the Padres, winning 7-4 thanks to the powerful bat of Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzo put on a hitting clinic throughout the series, and hit three home runs on Wednesday evening for the Dodgers in a 4 for 4 performance. Gonzo hit three solo home runs, (he also had an RBI single) and finished 10 for 13 in the series. Gonzo’s three home runs (All solo jacks) were all hit to the same area. I can’t believe the Padres kept pitching to him, but thank you San Diego.
Padres 4 11 2
Dodgers 7 11 0
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Gonzalez becomes the first player ever (I believe) to hit five home runs in his club’s first three games. The pitching match-up pitted fireballer Andrew Cashner against New Dodger right hander Brandon McCarthy. So while Gonzo was hitting all the home runs, McCarthy was racking up the strikeouts. Kemp was another thorn in our sides again, getting two more hits. The former Dodger had five in the series, but thankfully in a losing cause. It was bizarre seeing Kemp in a San Diego uniform. I hope he plays well, but never wins.
McCarthy pitched fairly well, but ran out of gas in the sixth inning. McCarthy allowed four earned runs in five innings plus on nine hits, walked one but struck out nine. His mound opponent Cashner struggled throughout the game and the Dodgers knocked him out of the box in fifth inning. Cashner allowed six runs on eight hits in five innings. When was the last time the Dodgers scored six runs off Cashner?
Call to the Pen
The game ended up being a high scoring affair, and the Dodgers fell behind early again. In the top of the first, McCarthy gave up a single to Matt Kemp, and then Justin Upton hit a huge home run into the Dodger bullpen to give San Diego a 2-0 lead. The ball was hit so high that left fielder Carl Crawford shrugged his shoulders because he lost sight of the ball. Carl wasn’t going to catch that one anyways.
Before the game Gonzo received his gold glove and silver bat-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
In the bottom of the first inning, Gonzo hit the first of his three home runs. It was a booming shot to right center field. That made the score 2-1 San Diego.
In the bottom of the second the Dodgers would score three runs to take a 4-2 lead. They would never relinquish the lead after that. Crawford and Uribe single, and Pederson draws a walk to load the bases. A struggling Cashner walks McCarthy to force in a run. Although note three of the pitches were borderline. Jimmy Rollins hits a grounder to first, but Yonder Alonso kicks the ball, and Rollins beats the play. First base umpire Tripp Gibson originally called him out, but the Dodgers challenged the play and won. Uribe scores, and Pederson goes to third.
On the next play, Puig grounds into a force out at third, scoring Pederson to put the Dodgers ahead 4-2. However sloppy base running results in a double play, as Puig is tagged out in a rundown between first and second after McCarthy was thrown out at third.
Gonzo leads off the third inning with his second home run of the game. A laser shot to right field that bounces off the top of the wall and goes into the stands. Kendrick immediately singles, but is thrown out trying to steal. Crawford singles, and Grandal walks, but Uribe pops out, and Pederson whiffs.
McCarthy continues to strike out San Diego batters. The tall right hander struck out two in the second, and another in the third. He starts the fourth with back-to-back whiffs of Upton and Middlebrooks. But then Alonso singles, and Solarte doubles to put runners at second and third. McCarthy recovers to get Amarista to ground out to end the threat.
McCarthy picked up his first win as a Dodger-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
In the bottom of the fifth, Gonzo blasts his third home run of the game, and his third straight home run. A massive blast that should have sent Cashner to the showers. Kendrick singles again, and I wonder how Cashner can still be pitching? However Grandal, Crawford, and Uribe all strike out.
McCarthy falters in the sixth. Middlebrooks leads off with a home run, to make the score 6-3 Dodgers. Then back-to-back doubles from Alonso and Solarte cut the lead to 6-4. Don Mattingly removes McCarthy and brings in left hander Paco Rodriguez, who gets his man. Bud Black had countered with right hander Clint Barmes, who whiffs. Then Mattingly calls in Pedro Baez in a double-switch. Baez whiffs pinch-hitter Will Venable, and gets Will Myers to ground out.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Dodgers put one more run on the board. Pederson doubles, and Justin Turner’s ground ball single to left advances Pederson to third. However Rollins whiffs, and Yasiel Puig grounds into a force. Up steps Gonzo who lines a single over the shift, to plate Pederson and put the Dodgers up 7-4! Gonzo is on fire!
Baez pitches a 123 seventh inning, and the Dodgers go down in order in their half of that frame as well. J.P. Howell comes in to pitch the top of the eighth. Middlebrooks lines out to Kendrick for the first out. Alonso singles, but Howell whiffs Solarte, and gets Barmes to ground out.
Kemp is now annoying-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Gonzo could have had an extra at-bat in the bottom of the eighth, but he was left standing on deck after Puig flied out to center with Rollins at third. Move to the top of the ninth. Joel Peralta comes in to close. With the Dodgers leading 7-4, the veteran gets Venable to ground out. Myers singles to center, but Norris flies out to Pederson, and Kemp strikes out to end the game. Dodgers win 7-4!
After last night’s train wreck, tonight’s game was much better played. The Dodger’s offense scored seven runs on eleven hits, mostly thanks to Gonzalez. McCarthy picks up his first win in Dodger Blue, and Peralta gets credited a save.
But the game ball clearly goes to Gonzalez. Keep in mind only four other Dodgers in Los Angeles have ever hit three home runs in a game, and it’s only been done five other times. Juan Uribe did it back in September of 2013. Andre Ethier did it back in 2009, Hee-Seop Choi did it in 2005, and Shawn Green has done it twice in 2001, and 2002.
Peralta gets the save-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
This was a great win tonight, and it will give the Dodgers a happy flight into Arizona. I felt that Mattingly probably waited a batter too long to take out McCarthy in the sixth, but fortunately it didn’t matter. The bullpen came through well tonight, pitching four scoreless frames, whiffing four with no walks. I still think the base running needs a lot of work, but it’s only been three games so there is plenty of time to make adjustments. All in all this was a solid win.
The Dodgers get Thursday off, and will fly to Arizona for a three game weekend set starting on Friday evening. Friday’s game will feature a battle of the Andersons’ as Brett takes on Chase, at Chase field. Yes, two Andersons, and two Chases. Weird. We’ll see you on Friday everyone! Go Blue!