Paul Goldschmidt
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Paul Goldschmidt hits three homers for Cardinals

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There’s no question that Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt deserves every penny of the five-year, $130 million extension he signed with St. Louis last week. Still, it certainly didn’t hurt that he followed up a hitless debut on Opening Day with four hits — including three home runs — when he faced the Brewers for Game 2 on Friday.

Goldschmidt wasted little time getting the Cardinals on the board in the first inning. Matt Carpenter drew a leadoff walk from Milwaukee right-hander Freddy Peralta, followed by a 10-pitch at-bat from Goldschmidt that eventually resulted in a two-RBI home run — his first-ever homer for the club.

The Brewers kept pace through the first five innings, answering the home run (and Yadier Molina‘s RBI double) with a Ryan Braun three-run dinger in the third. Brewers righty Taylor Williams took the mound at the top of the sixth inning, but was quickly foiled by Goldschmidt as well: this time with a 106-m.p.h., 415-foot solo shot that gave the Cardinals a 5-4 advantage.

The Brewers barely had time to catch their breath before Goldschmidt stepped up to bat again. Following a fruitless sixth inning, Milwaukee turned to right-hander Jacob Barnes to get the job down in the seventh. He surrendered a leadoff single to Kolten Wong, then induced a fly out from Harrison Bader and punched out José Martínez on a full count. Things started to unravel with Matt Carpenter’s run-scoring single, however, and came completely undone as Goldschmidt unloaded his third home run of the night, a 406-footer that tilted the score 8-4 in the Cardinals’ favor.

While it looked as though Goldschmidt might have gotten a shot at a fourth home run — making him the 19th MLB player to record the feat, and the second since J.D. Martinez to do so off of four different pitchers in one game — he was denied the opportunity after getting intentionally walked in the ninth. Still, he managed to make some pretty cool history even so: according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, he’s just the sixth player since 1919 to deliver a three-homer performance within the first two games of the season.

Padres are giving Ron Washington a second interview

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Last week there was a report that the San Diego Padres were doing “due diligence” on former Rangers manager and current Braves third base coach Ron Washington in connection with their managerial opening. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that Washington has already had an interview and that, in fact, the Padres are planning to call him back for a second round.

Also getting a second look: Rangers field coordinator Jayce Tingler. Which suggests that GM A.J. Preller, formerly a Rangers assistant GM, is favoring guys he knows from his time in Texas.

Washington managed the Texas Rangers from 2007 into 2014, winning two pennants and compiling a record of 664-611 (.521). He stepped down for personal reasons but since then has returned to the job in which he made his considerable reputation: coaching, specifically coaching infielders, and has gotten rave reviews. Assuming he’s back up for the grind of managing — and he wouldn’t be interviewing if he was not — he is definitely someone based on results and reputation who deserves another shot at the helm.

Tingler, a former Rangers farm hand, has coached in their organization at both the minor and major league levels for 12 years.