SAN DIEGO -- For the Brewers' Ryan Braun, it was a milestone night. The reigning National League MVP became the first player to hit three home runs in a game at Petco Park.
For Padres rookie Joe Wieland, it was a lesson. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed two of Braun's home runs.
Braun tied a career high with six RBIs in the Brewers' 8-3 victory over the Padres (7-17) to open a three-game series Monday night. The distances of his career-high three home runs were 427, 408 and 371 feet. Two were solo shots and one was a two-run homer.
He hit the third home run off right-hander Ernesto Frieri in the seventh inning. Braun missed a fourth home run in the ninth -- instead smacking a two-run triple off left-hander Joe Thatcher. The Brewers improved to 11-12 on the season.
"You know these nights are few and far between," Braun said. "It's a moment you try to embrace, you try to enjoy. It's been a challenge for me and for us all year."
Before his four extra-base hits, Braun flew out to center field in his first at-bat of the game. In his second at-bat against Wieland, Braun homered to right-center on the first pitch to tie the game 1 in the fourth inning.
"I attacked him away the whole first at-bat, and then I thought I could go away and get a first-pitch strike," Wieland said. "It was away, but it was up. And he was looking away and made me pay."
During his third at-bat against Braun, Wieland threw a 2-2 curveball that Braun hit for a two-run home run to left field for a 5-2 Brewers lead in the fifth inning. The ball landed on the third deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. building.
"The biggest thing with this game today is this was a big learning experience for me," Wieland said. "A great hitter like him is going to make adjustments pitch to pitch and at-bat to at-bat."
"Next time I get two strikes, maybe I'll go hard in on him or it's gotta be in the dirt," Wieland added. "So, It was a huge learning experience for me."
After four starts, Wieland (0-4) is still looking for his first Major League victory. He allowed five runs (three earned) in five innings. He gave up five hits, struck out a career-high eight and walked two (one intentional).
"Joe's a confident kid, even though, record-wise, he's off to a tough start," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He's pitched some pretty good ballgames. Putting zeroes on the scoreboard, he's done that. He's been the victim of some big innings.
"He'll learn to minimize that, and he'll learn that every pitch he throws is critical. That's part of the learning process with Joe. But the experience that he's gaining now is invaluable."
It was the 13th multi-homer game of Braun's career and first since Sept. 16 of last season. He has seven home runs this year.
The Padres have been considering moving in the fences at Petco Park, which opened in 2004, to help stimulate the offense. Braun endorses that idea.
"It was just one night," Braun said. "But there's no doubt that this is one of the most challenging, if not the most challenging places to hit home runs in the league. I think, for fans, you want to see offense. Offense is exciting. I think if they [brought in the fences], it would make it a more neutral ballpark."
The Padres scored three runs in five-plus innings against Brewers starter Randy Wolf (2-2). He allowed nine hits, struck out three and walked three.
"We had him on the ropes a couple times, couldn't break through in the third inning," Black said.
In the third, Wieland recorded his first Major League hit, leading off with a single to shortstop. Chris Denorfia then doubled, but the runners were stranded at second and third after a strikeout, groundout and flyout.
The Padres stranded eight baserunners.
San Diego briefly held a 1-0 lead. In the second inning, Cameron Maybin drew a two-out walk off Wolf, stole second and scored on Yonder Alonso's single.
But after the Brewers' three-run fourth inning, the Padres never led again, because of Braun's historic night.
Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.