Christian Villanueva sets MLB record for most HR by a Mexican-born rookie
LOS ANGELES– With his team trailing 5-3 in the top of the 6th, Padres rookie Christian Villanueva walked up to the plate for his third at-bat against Dodgers lefty Alex Wood. In the two at-bats prior, Wood had struck Villanueva out on a combined eight pitches.
Wood got ahead in the count against Villanueva on the first pitch of the at-bat, inducing a whiff on a 90 mile-per-hour fastball.
The third baseman did not miss the next offering. He deposited an 83-mile-per-hour changeup 417 feet into the left-center field bleachers, tying the game at five apiece. The home run left Villanueva’s bat at 102 mph, per MLB.com’s Statcast.
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With the home run, Villanueva set the MLB record for most home runs by a Mexican-born rookie in a single season. His 13th home run overtook Geronimo Gil’s previous mark of 12, which occurred with the Orioles in 2002.
The 26-year-old has now hit 10 of his 13 home runs off of left-handed pitchers this season. The home run was the first of his career at Dodger Stadium.
The Padres and Dodgers remain tied 5-5 in the 7th.