Giants claim 2-0 World Series lead
By Ronald Blum ,AP
October 27, 2012, 12:01 am TWN
SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner allowed just two hits over seven innings as the San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0 on Thursday to take a 2-0 World Series lead.
Gregor Blanco's single trickled to a stop inches fair on the infield dirt, setting up Brandon Crawford's run-scoring double-play grounder in the seventh. Hunter Pence added a sacrifice fly in the eighth to give the Giants all they needed. Hunter Pence added a sacrifice fly in the eighth, and that was plenty for these masters of the October comeback.
Game 3 will be Saturday in Detroit and for once, the Giants aren't playing from behind. The Giants overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat Cincinnati in the best-of-five division series and trailed 3-1 against St. Louis in the National League championship series.
The loss left the favored Tigers wondering what else could go wrong. Prince Fielder was thrown out at the plate by a hair and moments later starting pitcher Doug Fister was struck squarely in the head by a line drive, a ball hit so hard that it caromed into shallow center field.
Fister managed to stay on the mound, and even excelled. Bumgarner more than matched him, however, allowing just two hits before the San Francisco bullpen closed it out before another pulsating crowd.
Santiago Casilla pitched a perfect eighth and Sergio Romo worked the ninth for a save in the combined two-hitter, leaving Miguel Cabrera in a huge hole heading back to Comerica Park. Anibal Sanchez will start for the Tigers against Ryan Vogelsong in Detroit.
The Tigers looked sluggish at the plate, maybe still lost following a five-day layoff after an American League championship series sweep of the Yankees. Cabrera hopped up and twisted away after third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who homered three times in the opener, snared his early line drive.
Bumgarner had something to do with the Tigers' troubles, too.
Bumped from the NLCS rotation after two poor postseason starts, he returned with a flourish. The left-hander struck out eight and looked as sharp as he did in the 2010 World Series when, as a 21-year-old rookie, he stopped Texas in Game 4 on the way to a championship.
This game was scoreless in the seventh when the Giants went ahead, right after actor Tom Hanks — a former peanut vendor at the nearby Oakland Coliseum — sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" on the field.
Pence led off with a single and Fister departed, getting lots of hugs in the dugout. Rookie reliever Drew Smyly walked Brandon Belt on a full-count pitch and Blanco's bunt loaded the bases.
The Tigers kept their infield back up the middle, and had no play at the plate on Crawford's bouncer.