NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro fouled off a pair of 98 mph fastballs with two strikes before lining an RBI single up the middle to give the Giants a 2-0 lead.
With a 2-0 count on Sandoval, Jeff Jones came out to the mound and Verlander appeared surprised to see his pitching coach making a visit so early in the game.
“I wasn’t mad he was coming out,” Verlander said. “It was 2-0. It was not like the wheels were falling off. I’m someone who likes to work off a rhythm. I usually know what I’m doing out there. When things are going wrong, I still know what I’m doing wrong.”
Whatever advice was imparted didn’t work as Sandoval drove the next pitch over the left-field fence to make it 4-0, leaving Verlander to mouth “Wow!” as he watched it.
“I’ve seen enough balls off the bat to know when someone gets one,” Verlander said. “I definitely didn’t think that was a homer off the bat. I turned around and saw Delmon (Young) standing at the wall. That’s kind of where the `wow’ came from because it was totally unexpected.”
Sandoval became just the fifth player ever to hit two homers in a game off Verlander, who will need to change something before his next start since Sandoval also hit a bases-loaded triple in this year’s All-Star game, the only other time they faced each other.
Verlander overpowered the opposition in the first two rounds of the postseason, going 3-0 with an 0.74 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 24 1-3 innings against the big-swinging Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees.
While those teams were strikeout prone, the Giants built their success on putting the ball into play. San Francisco combined that skill with Sandoval’s homers to lead to Verlander’s shortest outing since also lasting four innings in Game 1 of the ALCS against Texas last year.
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