Sandoval, Giants batter Verlander, Tigers in WS opener

PABLO SANDOVAL hit three home runs and Barry Zito outpitched reigning CY Young and MVP awardee Justin Verlander to highlight San Francisco’s 8-3 win over Detroit on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) in Game 1 of the World Series.

Sandoval homered in his first three at bats to join Reggie Jackson, Babe Ruth and Albert Pujols as the only players to have that many four-baggers in a single game of the Series.

From the first pitch to last, it was basically a perfect game by the Giants. Coming off a Game 7 win over St. Louis on Monday night, they looked totally fresh.

“We played our last game only two days ago,” Sandoval said. “We’re still hot. We just came here and played our game.”

Verlander, the reigning Cy Young winner so dominant in this postseason, looked uncomfortable from the outset and constantly pawed at the mound.

“I just didn’t execute tonight,” Verlander said. “It was kind of a battle from the get-go. They took advantage of that and swung the bat pretty well, especially Pablo and (Marco) Scutaro. A couple of good bounces their way, bad for us.”

Game 2 is Thursday night (Friday in Manila), with Doug Fister starting for the Tigers against Madison Bumgarner.

Left off the 2010 World Series roster by the champion Giants, Zito shut out the Tigers until Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera’s RBI single in the sixth. The Giants won for the 14th straight time with Zito starting. Noli Cruz

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