NEW YORK -- Pablo Sandoval has always been a strong early-season hitter. But he's never been this hot before.
San Francisco's third baseman extended his hitting streak to 15 games with an RBI single in his first at-bat during Monday's doubleheader against the Mets. Sandoval then tied the great Willie Mays for an impressive franchise record with a first-inning homer in the twin-bill nightcap.
Mays went 16 straight games with a hit to start the 1960 season. No San Francisco player has been able to match that streak until now. Sandoval went into Monday's action as a .331 career hitter (99-for-299) in April, a mark that bears a pretty close resemblance to his average (.333) so far this season.
But if you ask him what's going right for him, Sandoval will tell you it's just business as usual.
"I just try to help my team out there, try to do my best," he said. "I'm having fun. And I think it's one of those things: When you're having fun every day, you're going to have some success."
Sandoval is a career .268 hitter in May, and he followed the same torrid pattern last year. He hit .313 in April and missed May with an injury, but then came back to hit .269 in June. Sandoval said that he doesn't know any reason for that trend and that he hopes to stay consistent.
"I'm just going out there and playing my game early in the season. We'll see what happens at the end of the season," he said. "I'm prepared, and when you prepare all Spring Training, you're ready."
Sandoval's current streak is the longest in the Majors, and he's been one of the Giants' biggest threats at the plate. Sandoval has notched an RBI in 10 of his team's first 16 games, and manager Bruce Bochy said that he likes what he's seen from his No. 3 hitter.
"He's showing more discipline at the plate. He's coming off a good year," Bochy said. "He's really swinging the bat the way he did last year, but maybe even a little more patient. He's doing a good job."