After winning six elimination games to reach the World Series, the Giants said they wanted to take an easier route this time around. They got off to a crushing start Wednesday, making it look easy against the best pitcher in baseball.

Pablo Sandoval homered in his first three at-bats and Barry Zito was dominant again as the Giants cruised past Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers 8-3 in the first game of the World Series.

Sandoval hit two homers off Verlander, and in his third at-bat he took Al Alburquerque deep to join one of the most elite lists in sports. He's the fourth player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a World Series game, along with Hall of Famers Babe Ruth (who did it twice) and Reggie Jackson and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols. Appropriately, the bat Sandoval used to hit the first two homers -- it broke in his third plate appearance -- was donated to the Hall of Fame.

"I still can't believe it," Sandoval said. "I don't try to hit home runs. I'm not trying to do too much right now, especially at this time of the season."

Sandoval did plenty, and he did it on a stage that had previously represented the low point of his career. Out of shape and out of sync, Sandoval had just three at-bats and played in one game in the 2010 World Series. That was much more action than the Giants gave Zito, who was left off the roster altogether.