Villanueva homers in third straight game

April 17th, 2018

SAN DIEGO -- Another game, another homer for .
Earlier this season, the Padres' rookie third baseman went deep three times in the same game. Now, he's homered in three consecutive games, bringing his total to six on the season, the most among all rookies.
Villanueva crushed an 0-1 cutter from Dodgers starter into the lower level of the left-field seats, putting the Padres on top, 2-1, though they ultimately fell, 10-3. He visited the Western Metal Building against the Giants on Sunday, and he hit the scoreboard on Saturday.
Alex Dickerson set the franchise rookie record by homering in four straight games in 2016. Villanueva is one shy of that mark, and three shy of Graig Nettles' all-time Padres mark set in 1984. He faces Dodgers lefty Alex Wood on Tuesday, and Villanueva is 10-for-18 with five homers against left-handed pitching this year.
Prior to Monday's game, manager Andy Green spoke at length about the ups and downs of Villanueva's first few weeks. Following his three-homer game against Colorado, Villanueva got a bit too swing-happy, and fell into a minor slump. He's broken out of it, in Green's eyes, largely because he's been more selective.
"It's been great to see Villa make the adjustments he's made," Green said. "When he got to the point where he was swinging at everything, you know that's not going to play well in the long run. Seeing him make that adjustment, be a bit more patient, means more to me than seeing him hit three homers in a game."
Clearly, Villanueva loves hitting at Petco Park. All six of his home runs have come at home this season, and he's gone deep in nine of his 52 career plate appearances in San Diego.
Villanueva tacked on a pair of singles Monday night, though his third-inning error proved particularly costly as the Dodgers plated five runs in the frame.
Still, he sits atop the rookie leaderboards with 12 extra-base hits and 34 total bases, and he leads the Majors with his .822 slugging percentage -- despite an eight-game stretch between homers in which he batted .148 with 12 strikeouts.
"He's back to seeing the baseball well, and swinging the bat," Green said. "He's much more productive that way. I think he's looked really good in the box."