- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Andrew Cashner made three huge mistakes in his season debut for the San Diego Padres.

They all landed in right field, courtesy of three solo home runs by Adrian Gonzalez in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 7-4 victory Wednesday night.

Gonzalez sent a 1-2 pitch out of the park in the first inning and then homered off 1-0 pitches in the third and fifth innings to make history as the first major leaguer to hit five homers in his first three games of the season.

Cashner (0-1) came into the series finale with a 1.53 ERA in 17 previous games, including six starts, against the Dodgers. But the right-hander gave up eight hits and a career-high-tying six runs - five earned - in five innings, struck out six and walked three. He served up three homers in one game for the first time since May 30, 2013, against Seattle.

“I’ve always done well against these guys and this was my first bad start against them,” Cashner said. “But good hitting teams make pitchers pay when they make mistakes.”

Fittingly, Gonzalez received his Silver Slugger award from last season before the game. Then he went out and had a four-hit game to go with consecutive three-hit games on Monday and Tuesday, becoming the first National League player to do so since Orlando Cepeda of San Francisco had three straight three-hit games in 1963.

Gonzalez homered in four consecutive at-bats dating to Tuesday before his RBI single in the sixth. His five homers in the first three games made major league history, according to information provided to the Dodgers by Elias Sports Bureau.

The Dodgers rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the first to help Brandon McCarthy (1-0) earn his first win as one of eight new players on the team this season. The right-hander allowed nine hits and four runs, struck out nine and walked one. Joel Peralta pitched the ninth to earn his first NL save.

Gonzalez homered in the first and he led off the third with another homer, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 5-2. He led off the fifth with his third homer and took a curtain call from the dugout steps.

“You don’t want to give in to him and throw the ball where we threw it,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “From my vantage point, they looked like they were just up over the plate and not to good spots, like down around the knees or up and in on the hands. That’s where you have to pitch guys. We didn’t get in on him and we didn’t get the ball down and away on him.”

Gonzalez received a standing ovation when he came to the plate in the sixth. The Padres’ infield convened on the mound for a conference before Frank Garces gave up an RBI single to Gonzalez, making it 7-4.

Gonzalez became the third player in franchise history with homers in his first three games, joining Jimmy Wynn in 1974 and Carl Furillo in 1955.

McCarthy helped himself, drawing a bases-loaded walk off Cashner that forced in Carl Crawford and tied the game 2-all in the second. The Dodgers took a 3-2 lead when Jimmy Rollins was safe at first after a successful challenge by the Dodgers. Juan Uribe scored from third when first baseman Yonder Alonso bobbled the ball hit to him by Rollins, who was originally called out.

Yasiel Puig grounded into an inning-ending fielder’s choice double play, allowing Joc Pederson who walked, to score and make it 4-2.

Justin Upton hit a two-run homer with two outs in the first for the Padres. Will Middlebrooks homered leading off the sixth and Yangervis Solarte added a RBI double.


Padres: OF Melvin Upton will report to the team’s spring training home in Peoria, Arizona, to continue treatment for a left foot injury, which sidelined him for much of the spring. He’s not expected back with the team until next month. Upton was acquired last weekend with Craig Kimbrel in a trade with Atlanta.

Dodgers: LH Clayton Kershaw is scheduled for a root canal Monday, and it’s not expected to affect his subsequent start.


Padres: They host World Series champion San Francisco in their home opener Thursday. RHP Ian Kennedy (13-13 last season) opposes RHP Tim Hudson (9-13) of the Giants.

Dodgers: They’re off Thursday to travel to Arizona, where they open a three-game series Friday. It’ll be a matchup of unrelated Andersons, with lefty Brett starting for the Dodgers against righty Chase for the Diamondbacks.

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