It certainly helped ease any nerves rookie Ryan Sadowski may have had in his home debut.
Sandoval hit a two-run homer and an RBI triple to boost his bid for an All-Star spot and stake Sadowski to a quick cushion, and the Giants routed the Houston Astros 13-0 on Friday night.
"That makes a huge difference," Sadowski said. "It was awesome today."
Travis Ishikawa added a three-run homer that was initially ruled a double before the umpire crew went to the replay booth, at the urging of San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy. The ball hit off the railing of the right-field arcade and Ishikawa stayed at second until getting to finish his trot about 3 minutes later.
The review was the first this season at AT&T Park, where there was one in late September last year after replay was implemented.
Randy Winn added a two-run triple and Nate Schierholtz an RBI single in the Giants' six-run second that chased Felipe Paulino (2-5). San Francisco, which already had 14 of its 15 hits by the third inning, snapped a six-game losing streak to the Astros.
"That's the offense I knew we had from the start of the season," Sandoval said.
The Giants' runs were a season high and this was their majors-best 10th shutout. Jonathan Sanchez pitched two innings of relief to finish it.
"We don't do that very often," Bochy said. "The offense was there. The kid was good, he was outstanding. We had it all going tonight."
Sadowski pitched another gem, not allowing a hit until Lance Berkman's one-out single in the fourth. The 26-year-old righty has 13 scoreless innings to start his career, the longest such streak by a Giant since Mike Remlinger's 15 shutout innings in 1991, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Sadowski worked six innings in his first big league start last Sunday in a 7-0 win at Milwaukee, then topped that with seven more scoreless innings. Pretty impressive for a guy who was never in major league camp this spring and whose bio is buried among the minor leaguers in the back of the media guide.
Sandoval tripled in a four-run third. If he and starters Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum are all All-Stars, it would be the first time the Giants have sent three players to the Midsummer Classic since Barry Bonds, Robb Nen and Benito Santiago in 2002.
Schierholtz added an RBI double in the third.
"It was definitely one of those games. We haven't had one of these for quite some time," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "It seemed like they knew what was coming the way they were swinging. It's tough when you're down like that so fast."
Paulino got in trouble in a hurry in his first career appearance against San Francisco, needing a mound visit in the first from pitching coach Dewey Robinson. The right-hander was tagged for nine runs -- eight earned -- and nine hits in two innings in his second start since being activated from the disabled list following a right groin strain. He beat the Tigers last Saturday, but this time saw his ERA go from 5.51 to 6.66.
"It was unbelievable. They hit everything," Paulino said. "Even when I made a good pitch they hit it."
The Astros took three of four from the Giants in San Francisco last year and captured the season series 7-1.
San Francisco scored its most runs since a 13-0 home win against Arizona on July 1, 2007.
After the game, the Giants optioned 2B Matt Downs to Triple-A Fresno to clear room for INF Rich Aurilia to come off the bereavement list Saturday. ... Winn left the game following the second inning after fouling a ball of his foot. He expects to play Saturday. ... Michael Bourn ended an 0-for-27 streak to start his career vs. San Francisco. ... Former Giant RHP Russ Ortiz starts Saturday for Houston. "I think at heart (I'm still a Giant)," said Ortiz, who pitched Game 6 of the 2002 World Series when San Francisco collapsed against the eventual-champion Angels. "Most people recognize me as a Giant. This is where I spent most of my time in the big leagues. This will always be a special part of my career."