Sandoval rocks three homers, Giants top Tigers in World Series opener
San Francisco, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Pablo Sandoval belted three home runs, two against ace Justin Verlander, as the San Francisco Giants drew first blood with a 8-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday at AT&T Park.
Sandoval, who went 4-for-4 with four RBIs, became the fourth player to accomplish that feat in the World Series, joining former St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols and the New York Yankees’ Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth.
Pujols did it against Texas Rangers in 2011, Jackson accomplished it against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977 and Ruth did it twice in 1926 and 1928 both against the Cardinals.
“I’m excited to be part of the history,” said Sandoval, who had two homers in the postseason in the NLCS against the Cardinals and one against the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS. “It’s one of the things when you’re a little kid, you’re dreaming to play in the World Series.”
“He had good stuff,” Sandoval said of Verlander. “I got a good pitch to hit.”
NLCS Most Valuable Player Marco Scutaro drove in two runs to provide enough offensive support for Barry Zito, who pitched 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball.
Zito, who surrendered six hits and had three strikeouts for the win, added an RBI single in the fourth to end Verlander’s night after four innings and give the Giants a commanding 5-0 lead.
After hitting long balls in the first and third frames against Verlander (0-1), Sandoval completed a hat trick by hitting his third homer against reliever Al Alburquerque in the fifth frame.
The Tigers finally scored against Zito in the sixth behind an RBI single by Miguel Cabrera but the Giants retaliated with two runs in the seventh from singles by Scutaro and Buster Posey against former closer Jose Valverde.
Former Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, striking out five. Reliever George Kontos gave up a two-run homer to Jhonny Peralta in the ninth before Jeremy Affeldt got the final out for the Giants.
The outing was Verlander’s shortest stint in the postseason after going seventh against the Oakland A’s in the AL Division Series. He allowed five earned runs on six hits after posting an ERA of just 0.74 in three postseason wins against the A’s and the New York Yankees.
The Giants eye a 2-0 lead Thursday with Madison Bumgarner on the mound against Doug Fister of the Tigers.