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Giants eye second championship in three years and sweep of Tigers
(Sports Network) - It seems as if the San Francisco Giants are once again riding their pitching staff to a World Series title. On Sunday, the Giants eye their second championship in three years, as they try to complete a four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
The Giants moved to the brink of their seventh title on Saturday, as Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo combined on a five-hit shutout in the Giants' 2-0 triumph.
Detroit mustered just three runs and 10 hits in losing the first two matchups of this Fall Classic held in San Francisco, and didn't fare any better as the series moved to the Motor City. The Tigers stranded nine baserunners and went 0-for-4 with men in scoring position in suffering their sixth straight World Series defeat dating back to their last appearance in 2006.
"I thought we had (Vogelsong) on the ropes a couple times tonight. We couldn't get the killer hit or the killer blow," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
The Tigers have now been blanked by the Giants in consecutive games, having also dropped a 2-0 decision in Thursday's Game 2. Detroit was shut out just twice during its run to the AL Central title in the regular season.
Conversely, San Francisco continues to get stellar work from its starting staff as it extended its franchise-record postseason winning streak to six games.
Vogelsong (1-0) pitched out of several jams over the first 5 2/3 innings in which he allowed five hits and four walks. Lincecum then surrendered just one walk over the next 2 1/3 frames before turning things over to Romo, with the Giants closer setting down the side in order to give his team a commanding 3-0 series lead.
"It's a good situation, but there's nothing done yet," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "You have to keep going about your business as usual and come out tomorrow ready to go."
Over their last six outings, San Francisco starters have given up a scant two runs in a total of 38 2/3 innings. The Giants became only the second team to win the first three games of a World Series and have their starting pitcher earn the victory while giving up one run or less, joining the 1937 New York Yankees.
Brandon Crawford went 2-for-3 with an RBI single to pace the Giants offensively, while Gregor Blanco delivered a run-scoring triple in a second inning where the National League champions did all of their damage.
The two-run second spoiled an otherwise terrific start from Detroit's Anibal Sanchez (0-1), with the right-hander striking out eight batters over seven innings and permitting only six hits and a walk.
San Francisco, which beat Texas in five games to win the 2010 World Series, hopes to get another stellar pitching performance from Matt Cain, whose 1.83 postseason ERA in seven playoff starts ranks only behind Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson (1.06) and Carl Hubbell (1.79) in team annals.
Cain's only 2-2 in these playoffs with a 3.52 ERA but was sensational in his NLCS Game 7 start versus the St. Louis Cardinals, as he surrendered five hits over 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
"I think your great players, for the most part, are those types of (clutch) players," Bochy said. "They seem to play better when the club needs them. The higher the stakes, the more they do to elevate their game.
"And I certainly would put Matt Cain in that class."
Detroit, meanwhile, will rely on righty Max Scherzer, who has pitched to a 0.82 ERA in two starts this postseason. Scherzer beat the New York Yankees back on Oct. 18, limiting them to a run and two hits and struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings.
"I absolutely relish it. I mean, this is the start of a lifetime to be able to pitch in the World Series," he said. "You know, every game you pitch in the World Series is a must-win game, so what better opportunity than the one I have."
Scherzer has faced the Giants four times and is 1-3 against them with a 5.12 ERA.
History is certainly on the Giants' side, as all of the previous 23 teams to hold a 3-0 World Series advantage have gone on to win the series. Of those 23, 20 have won the series in Game 4, while the other three have finished the series in Game 5 (1910 Philadelphia A's, 1937 Yankees and 1970 Orioles).
If necessary, Game 5 will be played on Monday.
10/28 08:40:20 ET
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