San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval, the NL's starting third baseman in the All-Star Game, had eight home runs at the break.
He had none afterward. Until Wednesday, when he homered after 161 homerless at-bats. His first since July 8. More than two months ago.
He remained the No. 3 hitter because manager Bruce Bochy was faithful with the Panda, knowing he homered 23 times last year and 25 in 2010.
The drought ended when Sandoval, swinging left-handed, turned on a 1-2 slider by Tyler Chatwood that was low and inside. The ball hit the right-field foul pole.
The first-inning, three-run blow was all the Giants needed in their 7-1 win over the Rockies. The second-place Dodgers split a doubleheader in Washington, so the Giants' magic number is five.
Sandoval had three hits and stole his first base of 2012 on a hit-and-run play that was botched. He had gone 11 straight games without an RBI and was benched a game by Bochy for his erratic play, both on offense and defense, an apparent result of poor fitness.
It's not as much of an issue for now. Sandoval is 6-for-12 three games into the four-game set.