LOS ANGELES -- Adrián González knew the ball was gone as he saw it fly away, just like he knew the constant work he had put in would pay off.With a solo homer in the seventh inning, Gonzalez reached 300 home runs in his career during the Dodgers' 8-5 win
LOS ANGELES -- Adrián González knew the ball was gone as he saw it fly away, just like he knew the constant work he had put in would pay off.
With a solo homer in the seventh inning, Gonzalez reached 300 home runs in his career during the Dodgers' 8-5 win Sunday over the Red Sox at Dodger Stadium.
"I've seen a lot of those homers with me and against me -- 300, that's a big number," manager Dave Roberts said. "He's a guy that is very underrated right now in his career and the stability that he brings to a club. To get that big hit for us, for us to get the extra insurance, but also for him personally, I think that he doesn't really thrive and care much about individual accomplishments, but that's a big number and a lot to be said for his career."
Gonzalez is now one of seven active players with 300 homers and 400 doubles, joining Alex Rodriguez, Adrián Beltré, Carlos Beltrán, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz and Miguel Cabrera, all hitters who could one day find themselves in the Hall of Fame.
The home run, which came off right-hander Junichi Tazawa in the seventh inning, was Gonzalez's 10th of the season. He will get to take the ball home, too, as the fan who caught it decided to exchange it for a few items of signed merchandise.
The accomplishment serves as another indicator the 34-year-old first baseman might be turning his 2016 season around. Since June 27, around the time he decided to focus on strength training, Gonzalez is hitting .355 with eight doubles and four home runs.
"I'm a guy that's always tweaking," he said. "I'm never the same stance or same approach, so I'm always looking for something and when it feels really good, I ride with it."
Gonzalez said the larger adjustment came in his strength training, focusing on weights to find the power stroke that has been somewhat dormant this season. While the homer and a double Sunday increased his slugging percentage to .418, its highest mark since May, he is still on track to post his lowest slugging percentage since he was a 23-year-old with the Rangers.
That's one more thing Gonzalez believes will come as long as he trusts the process that took him to 300 homers.
"You don't second-guess yourself," Gonzalez said. "You know the ability is there, you know the process is there, everything is there. I know for me, earlier in the year, it was more about my body feeling right than anything else. The last month, it's been feeling really good. I know the at-bats are going to be there and all I got to do is figure out a way to swing at the right pitches."
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.