Panda-Monium: Sandoval clubs 3 homers as Giants take WS Game 1

10:46 PM, Oct 24, 2012   |    comments
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San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants weren't about to experience another slow start. Pablo Sandoval made sure of it.

The All-Star slugger tied a World Series record by socking three home runs as the Giants gained the upper hand in the 2012 Fall Classic with a convincing 8- 3 win over the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 from AT&T Park.

Sandoval delivered a solo homer off Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first inning, a two-run blast against the Detroit ace in the third, and connected off reliever Al Alburquerque in the fifth to become only the third player in World Series history to go deep three times in a single game -- and first to do so in his first three at-bats.

The third baseman, who finished 4-for-4 with four RBI, joins some very select company, with Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols the only ones to previously accomplish the feat. Ruth did it in both the 1926 and '28 World Series, Jackson in the 1977 edition and Pujols during the St. Louis Cardinals' victory over the Texas Rangers in last year's Game 3.

Marco Scutaro, the MVP of the Giants' come-from-behind triumph over the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series, kept up his own torrid hitting by collecting two singles and two RBI, while Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum helped maintain the momentum by teaming up for eight strong innings.

Zito (1-0) held the Tigers to one run on six hits and a walk over the first 5 2/3 frames, with Lincecum striking out five over 2 1/3 perfect innings after taking over for his fellow former Cy Young Award recipient.

San Francisco had dropped its opener in both the NLDS and NLCS and advanced by staving off elimination a remarkable six times in those two series, including a 9-0 victory over St. Louis on Monday that gave the Giants the league pennant.

Detroit, on the other hand, swept the scuffling New York Yankees in the ALCS and had not played since last Thursday. The Tigers seemed to feel the effects of the extended layoff, falling behind 6-0 after five innings and receiving a subpar stint from Verlander (0-1).

The 2011 AL MVP lasted just four innings in his shortest outing of the season and was tagged for five runs and six hits.

Jhonny Peralta had a two-run homer for Detroit, which had won five in a row dating back to Game 5 of the ALDS, with Austin Jackson and ALCS hero Delmon Young each contributing two hits in a losing cause.

Game 2 will take place Thursday in San Francisco, with Madison Bumgarner getting the call for the Giants and the Tigers countering with Doug Fister.

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