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Game 1 key: Giants hitters made Verlander work

The SportsXchange

San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs. The biggest story of Game 1 of the World Series. No doubt. He's on a list that includes only Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols.

A subplot was how the Giants beat up on Justin Verlander, who wasn't supposed to lose. The Giants saw it differently. Suddenly, they've got a serious edge in the 108th World Series.

The Tigers were hoping to steal the home-field advantage from the Giants with a Game 1 win, but Verlander lasted only four innings, threw 98 pitches and was slapped around an 8-3 loss.

The Giants won't see him again until Game 5.

"You want to get that pitch count up early and get him out as soon as possible because we all know what he's capable of," center fielder Angel Pagan said. "It was tough, but we beat him with some good at-bats and early runs."

Sandoval homered in his first three at-bats and singled in his fourth turn, but the rest of the lineup did its part to knock out Verlander.

Marco Scutaro had an eight-pitch at-bat with two outs in the third inning that allowed Sandoval to hit his second homer. Even winning pitcher Barry Zito added a key two-out single, scoring a fourth-inning run.

"We fouled off some good pitches and put the ball in play. I guess that was something Verlander was not used to," Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens said. "My hat goes off to our hitters because they took the game plan to the field today."
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