SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Pablo Sandoval became just the fourth player to hit three home runs in a World Series game, connecting twice against Justin Verlander and once off Al Alburquerque to lead the San Francisco Giants over the Detroit Tigers 8-3 in Wednesday night's opener.
Sandoval hit a solo home run to right-center in the first, a two-run, opposite-field drive to left in the third and another bases-empty shot into the center-field batter's eye in the fifth. He joined Babe Ruth (1926 and 1928), Reggie Jackson (1977) and Albert Pujols (2011) as the only players with three-homer games in the Series.
Barry Zito, who like Sandoval watched the 2010 Series opener from the dugout, won by allowing one run and six hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Sandoval went 4 for 4 with four RBIs, also singling in the seventh against Jose Valverde. He became the first Giants player with a three-homer game at home since Barry Bonds in August 1994 at Candlestick Park.
Verlander was chased after allowing five runs and six hits in four innings, his shortest start this year. He threw 98 pitches, and Detroit manager Jim Leyland could alter his rotation and start him in Game 4 on short rest instead of Max Scherzer. That would enable Verlander to pitch a possible Game 7, again on three days' rest.
Verlander was 0-2 as a rookie in the 2006 Series against St. Louis but had been superb this October, entering with a 3-0 record and a 0.74 ERA.