Dodgers vs. Padres: Adrian Gonzalez finally goes home

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Adrian Gonzalez makes his first return to San Diego since being traded from the Padres in 2011.

Adrian Gonzalez is returning to the town that made him famous for the first time as the Los Angeles Dodgers open up a series at the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.

Gonzalez spent his formative years playing with the Padres from 2006 to 2010. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox following the 2010 season and signed a seven-year contract extension worth $154 million. Gonzalez was part of the uber-blockbuster trade earlier this year that included Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford.

But unlike most homecomings for baseball players, the Padres aren't the team Gonzalez spent his whole life with. Rather, the town of San Diego is what he has spent most of his life calling home.

"I was born here," he said. "I grew up here. There's definitely a lot more connections."

The Dodgers are currently 3.5 games out of the wild card race with nine games left in the season. The urgency of wins is helping Gonzalez keep a clear mind.

"I was able to sleep in my bed, going to the restaurants I crave the whole time when I'm not home. But at the end of the day it's about winning three games here," Gonzalez said.

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