Pablo Sandoval joined Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only players to launch three homers in a World Series game. The rotund Giants third baseman went deep twice off Tigers ace Justin Verlander and once more in the fifth inning against reliever Al Albuquerque to lead the Giants to an 8-3 victory in Game 1 over Detroit.
While Sandoval was the dominant force for the Giants, the San Francisco lineup unleashed an impressive assault on Verlander, who lasted just four innings while permitting five runs on six hits and a walk. It was the shortest start by the 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP winner since he lasted two innings in a start on June 22, 2010.
Sandoval was the catalyst, with a solo homer to center in the bottom of the first to give the Giants a 1-0 lead, a two-run shot to left field in the third and a solo homer to center in the fifth. He also added a single, giving him 13 total bases, second most ever in a World Series game. (Pujols had 14 in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series.) Marco Scutaro, Buster Posey and Angel Pagan also chipped in with two runs each.
That yielded more than enough offense for San Francisco to cruise to victory, on a night when Giants starter Barry Zito shut down the Tigers lineup following its five-day layoff. The left-hander kept Detroit scoreless until the sixth inning, and finished his night with 5 2/3 innings pitched in which he permitted just one run on six hits while walking one and striking out three.
The Game 1 winner has won the World Series in 66 of 107 Fall Classics. Game 2 will take place in San Francisco on Thursday with Doug Fister taking the hill for the Tigers against Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner.
For a full game recap, click here .