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Baseball notes: Adrian Gonzalez sets homer record

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez watches his solo home run take off in the fifth inning. (Associated Press)
Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez watches his solo home run take off in the fifth inning. (Associated Press)

Adrian Gonzalez homered three times for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 7-4 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, making him the first player in major league history with five in the season’s first three games.

His third homer leading off the fifth inning extended the Dodgers’ lead to 6-2. All three came off Padres starter Andrew Cashner.

Gonzalez homered in the first and again leading off the third, giving him homers in four consecutive at-bats dating to Tuesday. He singled in the sixth.

It’s the first three-homer game of the 32-year-old first baseman’s career.

Harrison signs

All-Star third baseman Josh Harrison and the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a $27.3 million, four-year contract, a deal that would be $48.3 million over six seasons if a pair of team options are exercised.

The 27-year-old Harrison finished second in the N.L. with a .315 batting average last year.

Tigers send 2 to DL

Justin Verlander officially went on the 15-day disabled list and the Detroit Tigers called up left-hander Kyle Lobstein to take his place in the starting rotation.

In another blow to the Tigers’ pitching staff, closer Joe Nathan is headed to the disabled list with a strained right elbow.

Clearing the bases

Tampa Bay Rays first baseman James Loney was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right oblique, Loney was hurt during batting practice on Tuesday. The Rays replaced him with first baseman Allan Dykstra from Triple-A Durham. … Major League Baseball launched a “Franchise Four” promotion for fans to vote for the players they think had the most impact on each of the 30 teams. Eight players are listed for each team. Voting, conducted on MLB.com, also will be held for the greatest living players, greatest Negro Leagues players and baseball’s greatest pioneers. Balloting ends May 8. Winners will be announced before the All-Star Game on July 14. … MLB started sending written warnings to players who have violated the new pace of game rules. MLB spokesman Michael Teeven said about 10 letters had been sent since the start of the season. Penalties for violating the new rules, which include fines, will start being assessed on May 1.

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