MEXICALI, Mexico -- There are two weeks before San Diego's position players will suit up for Spring Training, and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is already displaying a home-run swing and making history.
Gonzalez hit a record-setting three home runs for the Venados de Mazatlan to propel Mexico past the Dominican Republic's Tigres de Licey, 12-9, on Wednesday night in front of a boisterous crowd at Estadio Casas GEO.
The Dominican Republic (1-2) will face Venezuela (3-0) in Thursday's matinee. Mexico (2-1) squares off against Puerto Rico (0-3) Thursday night to conclude a day of rematches.
"I feel good about it, but the most important thing is a championship," Gonzalez said. "We will have to go forward and do what we know we can do, win."
Gonzalez hit his first home run of the game, a two-run shot to left-center field off starter Jorge Sosa, in the fourth inning to cap a three-run inning that pushed Mexico ahead, 6-5. The resilient Dominican squad answered in the bottom half of the frame when Willy Aybar scored on a single by Jose Bautista to tie the game, 6-6.
In the top of the fifth, Mexico left fielder Ruben Rivera hit a single and later scored on a passed ball by Dominican Republic catcher Ronny Paulino, one of five errors by the Dominicans, to break the tie. Cristhian Presichi scored on a single by Jon Weber, extending Mexico's lead to 8-6.
The only power outage in the game came after the fifth inning when the lights in left field malfunctioned and were shut off. The game was delayed for approximately 50 minutes.
The delay didn't bother Mexico's new favorite son.
When play resumed, Gonzalez led off by smashing his second home run of the game, this time to left field off Valerio De Los Santos, giving Mexico a 9-6 advantage in the sixth. Mexico tacked on two runs later in the inning for a five-run lead.
The Dominican Republic scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth but the rally came up short. Gonzalez struck again in the top of the ninth with his third home run of the game, a one-out blast to left field to push Mexico ahead, 12-9. The Padres All-Star is hitting .308 with six RBIs in the Caribbean Series.
He did not hit a home run during the playoffs in Mazatlan.
"I wasn't feeling pressure," Gonzalez said. "I just wasn't feeling as comfortable at the plate."
The Padres' first full squad workout is scheduled for Feb. 19. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14. Their first baseman has already answered his call of duty.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.