Who needs rest?
Certainly not Pablo Sandoval and the San Francisco Giants.
San Francisco received another convincing postseason victory as they defeated the Detroit Tigers in Game One of the best-of-seven World Series behind three home runs from Pablo Sandoval on Wednesday at AT&T Park, 8-3.
The Giants third baseman etched his name into the history books with the home runs. Sandoval joins Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols as the only players to hit three homers in a World Series game.
Sandoval hit homers off a high fastball, a fastball down and away, and a low slider. On the third homer, he was seen pointing his finger in the air as he rounded the bases. Sandoval also added a single in the seventh inning to finish with four hits in four at-bats.
But it wasn’t just Sandoval who felt like a hero in the first game of the series.
Barry Zito left the mound in the sixth inning to a thundering ovation from the home crowd, who had chanted “Barry” for the starting pitcher. Zito, who has had his share of difficult seasons since joining the Giants in 2007, conceded just one run in five and two-third innings and also singled home Brandon Belt in the bottom of the fourth inning.
It was an especially poor outing for Zito’s counterpart, Justin Verlander. The 2011 Cy Young winner gave up five earned runs in four innings, and two of Sandoval’s homers.
Verlander nearly matched his poor Game One effort from the 2006 World Series. He conceded six earned runs in five innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in the opening game of that series.
The Tigers had chances to score, but only managed three runs off eight hits and a walk.
Tim Lincecum retired all seven of the batters he faced, striking out five in relief of Zito. Jose Mijares, George Kontos, and Jeremy Affeldt relieved Lincecum. Kontos surrendered a two-run homer to Jhonny Peralta in the bottom of the ninth, while Affeldt threw just one pitch to end the game.
San Francisco had picked up where they left off following a Game Seven win over the Cardinals on Monday in the National League Championship Series, 9-0. The Giants have won four-straight games by a combined score of 28-4.
Game Two is set for Thursday with Madison Bumgarner on the mound for the Giants, and Doug Fister throwing for the Tigers.