Gonzalez making homers habitual

Gonzalez making homers habitual

MIAMI -- All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez entered the Padres' series opener against the Marlins on Monday trying to hit a home run in his fifth consecutive game.

Gonzalez flexed his home-run muscle on Wednesday in San Diego's final game against the San Francisco Giants and then for three consecutive days in Cincinnati to pull within two games of the club record, which was set by Graig Nettles in 1984.

As Gonzalez's most recent homer was leaving Great American Ball Park on Sunday, Padres TV announcer Dick Enberg said: "We're going to have to tie him up to get him out of Cincinnati tonight. He doesn't want to leave."

Still, the first baseman is no stranger by now to hitting home runs in bunches wherever he plays. Last season, he had one streak in which he homered in four consecutive games and another of five games.

"I can't control it, so I just try to roll with it," Gonzalez said. "I'm just hoping to get some pitches to hit."

Some teams try to pitch around Gonzalez, befitting his status as one of the game's premier power hitters. Other teams, like the Reds, choose to challenge him. Of course, Cincinnati found out the hard way that it wasn't the smartest of decisions.

Gonzalez spent some of his time before Monday's game watching video of Marlins starter Josh Johnson.

"As natural a hitter as he is, he also has a very strong work ethic," said Padres hitting coach Randy Ready. "That's a separator for him. He's not happy with himself if he doesn't prepare, and prepare to the best of his ability."