With each playoff hit that he lashes, Pablo Sandoval is distancing himself from a forgettable regular season.

That's good news for the Giants, whose mad comeback in the National League Championship Series has coincided with their No. 3 hitter heating up in the batter's box.

Two more hits in Sunday's 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals lifted Sandoval's batting average to .326 in the postseason, tops among Giants regulars. He also leads the team with three home runs and eight RBIs, and that injury-marred regular season appears further and further in the rearview mirror.

"It's exciting," Sandoval said. "You have your ups and downs during the season. So you have to keep your head up, keep your mindset and be focused. You see the results right now in the postseason."

In the past four games, Sandoval is 7 for 17 (.412) with two homers and five RBIs.

Production from the Panda has been crucial considering the Giants' 4-5 hitters, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence, are a combined 6 for 45 with two RBIs for the series.

"That's what we need out of him," shortstop Brandon Crawford said. "He's come through plenty of times for us."

Sandoval's first-inning double off the center-field wall Sunday moved Marco Scutaro around to third base. Scutaro would score moments later on Posey's grounder to give the Giants the early lead.