(CNN) -- Pablo Sandoval's record-tying three home runs led the San Francisco Giants to an 8-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the World Series.
Barry Zito gave up just one run in 5 2/3 innings to earn the win for San Francisco. He also had a run-scoring single in the fourth inning.
Tigers pitching ace Justin Verlander only managed to go four innings, allowing five runs on six hits.
Sandoval, who had 12 home runs during the regular season, hit a solo home run in the first and a two-run shot in the third off Verlander. In the fifth, he added another home run off Al Alburquerque. He has six home runs in the postseason.
"In this situation you're going to face the best. For me I just go in there and don't thinking too much or try to do too much, get a pitch you can hit, take advantage of the mistakes he be making. That's a part of my game." Sandoval said.
His manager said Sandoval has been swinging the bat well for weeks.
"He's been locked in for a while, and the home runs, really where he hit them, too, it's not easy to hit them where he hit them," Giants skipper Bruce Bochy said.
Three other players have homered three times in one World Series game.
Babe Ruth did it twice, and Reggie Jackson also achieved the feat. Last year, St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols had three home runs in Game 3.
Sandoval broke his bat on his third home run.
"I used that bat all postseason," he said, adding he wasn't very superstitious. "There's more bats in there to swing. It's not the bat. It's you. It's everything you've got inside you. If you have faith, you have to believe in yourself."
He also singled in the bottom of the seventh.
"I think you start with giving the Giant hitters credit," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "They did a good job. They're very pesky, and obviously the big guy had one of those unbelievable nights that happens once in a while in a World Series. What a night for him."
The Giants led 8-1 going into the top of the ninth before the Tigers' Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer off George Kontos.
Marco Scutaro had two RBI singles for the Giants, who will host Game 2 at 8:07 p.m. ET Thursday.
Doug Fister is scheduled to be the starting pitcher for Detroit, facing off against San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner.