Giants shut out Tigers for 3-0 World Series lead
Detroit, MI – The weather turned cold as the World Series shifted to Detroit, and so remained the Tigers' bats.
Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo combined on a five-hit shutout as the San Francisco Giants moved within a game of capturing their second championship in three years with a 2-0 triumph over the struggling Tigers in Game 3 from Comerica Park.
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.
The Giants will attempt to claim their seventh World Series title in the modern era behind Matt Cain on Sunday, with the Tigers countering with Max Scherzer.
A brisk night where the temperature hovered around 40 degrees provided few scoring opportunities. But as has been the case throughout this series, the Giants were the ones able to make the most of theirs.
San Francisco took full advantage of one of Sanchez's few mistakes -- a leadoff walk to Hunter Pence to begin the second inning. Pence would eventually reach third on a steal and a wild pitch, then crossed the plate with the game's first run when Blanco drove a full-count pitch into the gap in right-center field and hustled all the way to third.
Sanchez rebounded to strike out Hector Sanchez, but the light-hitting Crawford lined a single up the middle to extend the Giants' lead to 2-0.
San Francisco would generate little offensively over the remainder of Sanchez's stint, with the offseason pickup yielding just three singles during his final five innings of work.
The Tigers, on the other hand, had Vogelsong seemingly on the ropes on a number of occasions, but simply couldn't come up with a timely hit.
Detroit had runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the first, but Vogelsong was able to induce a double-play grounder from Prince Fielder. The same scenario existed in the third, when back-to-back singles by Omar Infante and Austin Jackson placed two on with one out. Vogelsong was again bailed out by a double-play, with Quintin Berry the culprit this time.
The Tigers' best chance to break out occurred in the fifth. Alex Avila and Omar Infante came through with consecutive one-out singles before Jackson worked a walk from Vogelsong to load the bases.
They would come away empty once more, however, as Vogelsong struck out Berry and got AL Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to harmlessly pop up to short to keep it a 2-0 game.
It would be Detroit's last real scoring threat, as Lincecum set down seven of the nine hitters he faced after relieving Vogelsong with one out and a runner on in the sixth and Romo tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to notch his second save of the series.
"Just being able to contribute is the biggest thing for me," Lincecum said. "I know this season I didn't do exactly what I wanted to do, so to go out there and just to be able to do something for the team, whether it's for two innings, an inning or four innings, that's my goal."
Vogelsong is now 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA in four starts during these playoffs. He became only the fourth pitcher with four consecutive starts of allowing one run or less in a single postseason, with Curt Schilling (2001), Burt Hooton (1981) and Blue Moon Odom (1972) the others ... The Giants have now thrown four shutouts this postseason, tying a franchise record set in 1905 and matched by the 2010 championship squad ... Detroit had won five consecutive postseason games at home, a streak that dated back to Game 5 of the 2011 ALCS ... San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-4 and now has 23 hits during these playoffs, breaking J.T. Snow's club mark set in 2002 ... Prior to the game, Cabrera and Giants catcher Buster Posey were both announced as MLB's winners of the 2012 Hank Aaron Award, which recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each league in a fan vote.