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.

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.