SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will never escape questions about third baseman Pablo Sandoval's weight. Indeed, one was asked of manager Bruce Bochy on Friday during his pregame press briefing.

After a 1-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, however, the only questions were about Sandoval's strong play at third. The All-Star continued to show no rust after a two-week break because of elbow soreness, adding several plays to a first-week highlight reel that already is lengthy.

He started a big first-inning double play on Carlos Beltran after Jon Jay's leadoff single and ended the inning with a diving stop of Allen Craig's grounder. In the third, Sandoval prevented what would have been a leadoff single by Jake Westbrook, again sprawling to his left to corral a ball that he fired to first.

"Pablo was just flashing the glove all day," said appreciative winning pitcher Barry Zito. "He picked me up huge today."

Sandoval's defense, along from strong plays from Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco, helped Zito and the bullpen stymie the Cardinals.

"That's what it takes to win a 1-0 game," Bochy said.

Sandoval said he did extra agility work during his time off and worked on his footwork because he didn't want to lose any range at third base.

"I'm not trying to do too much out there," he said. "When you play good defense, you're going to win games."