Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants became the fourth player in Major League Baseball history to hit three home runs in a World Series game.
Sandoval, 26, hit a solo homer off Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander in the first inning tonight and a two-run shot off him in the third. In the fifth inning, he hit a solo home run off reliever Al Alburquerque.
Sandoval had four runs batted in as the Giants took a 6-0 lead after five innings in the opening game of the best-of-seven World Series at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.
The 5-foot-11, 240-pound Sandoval, who is nicknamed “Kung Fu Panda,” is assured of getting up at least once more in the game. No player has hit four home runs in a World Series game.
He joins Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson of the New York Yankees and Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals as the only players to hit three homers.
Ruth did it twice -- in 1926 and 1928 -- and Jackson achieved the feat in a game in 1977. Pujols, who now plays for the Los Angeles Angels, did it last year.
Sandoval’s first home run went an estimated 411 feet to right-center field. His second, to left field, was estimated at 360 feet. The third went over the center-field wall.
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