Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Albert Pujols… and the Kung Fu Panda.
Pablo Sandoval hit 3 home runs, tying a World Series record held by Ruth, Jackson and Pujols, to lead the San Francisco Giants to an 8-3 success over the Tigers in Game One at ATT Park.
Sandoval homered in each of his first 3 at-bats, connecting twice off Tigers ace Justin Verlander. He hit a 3rd homer off reliever Al Alburquerque to tie the record held by the 3 legendary sluggers.
Ruth set the record in 1926 and tied it in 1928. Jackson had his hat trick in 1977, and Pujols went deep 3 times last year in Game 3 for St. Louis against Texas Rangers.
“When you’re a little kid, you dream about being in the World Series, but you don’t think of being in this circumstance where you hit 3 home runs in a game,” Sandoval asserted.
Sandoval tripled off Verlander in the All-Star Game in July at Kansas City. That gave him a boost of confidence facing a pitcher who was both the MVP and Cy Young Award winner in the AL last season.
“For me, I just go in there and don’t try to do too much, get a pitch I can hit, take advantage of the mistakes he (made),” Sandoval announced.
Sandoval lined an 0-2 pitch over the center field fence for a solo homer in the 1st inning to open the scoring. He lined a 2-run shot to left to cap a 3-run 3rd, then had another solo homer in the 5th inning.
Sandoval had a chance to break the record in the 8th inning but settled on a single to center field off deposed Detroit closer Jose Valverde, who was pitching for the 1st time since giving up a pair of 2-run home runs in the 1st game of the American League Championship Series 12 days earlier. NFL lines
Sandoval finished 4-for-4. Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro and Buster Posey added 2 hits each for the Giants, who had 11 in total.
The portly Sandoval was a forgotten man when the Giants won the World Series 2 years ago. He started just once in the Giants’ 5-game victory over Texas due to being unfit.
This year has been a whole different story, as Sandoval has hit 6 home runs in the 2012 postseason after going deep just 12 times in 443 plate appearances in the regular season.
“I’m enjoying this World Series,” Sandoval declared. “I’m going to enjoy all my moments. You never know when it’s going to happen again.”
The Giants were last in the major leagues with 103 homers in the regular season.
“He’s been locked in for some time, and it’s hard to hit those home runs where he hit them,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Just an incredible night, a night he is not going for forget.”
“First of all, you give the Giant hitters credit,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “Second of all, I think probably a bit of a layoff hurt Justin. His command was not good. I believe he just got out of pitching, started throwing a little bit too much.”