Pitching, Pence carry Giants to 2-0 World Series lead

Posted Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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SAN FRANCISCO -- A Giant dose of small ball, and suddenly San Francisco finds itself in a most unique position -- way ahead in a postseason series.

Madison Bumgarner shut down the Detroit Tigers for seven innings, then the Giants took advantage of a bunt that stayed fair to eke out the go-ahead run in a 2-0 win Thursday night for a 2-0 edge in the World Series.

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, former standout at Arlington High School and UT Arlington, added a sacrifice fly in the eighth, and that was plenty for the Giants.

"We played good small ball today," Pence said. "We played a great game of baseball, had outstanding pitching and great defense and we found a way to get it done."

Game 3 will be Saturday night in Detroit with the Giants in a different spot: They overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat Cincinnati in the division series and escaped a 3-1 hole against St. Louis in the NLCS.

Meanwhile, for Detroit, Prince Fielder was thrown out at the plate by a hair trying to score from first on a double. And moments later starting pitcher Doug Fister was struck squarely in the head by a line drive.

The 6-foot-8 Fister stayed on the mound, and even excelled. Bumgarner more than matched him, however, allowing just two hits before the Giants bullpen closed it out.

Santiago Casilla pitched a perfect eighth and Sergio Romo worked the ninth for a save in the combined two-hitter. Anibal Sanchez will start for the Tigers against Ryan Vogelsong in Detroit.

The Tigers looked foggy at the plate. Miguel 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 the Texas Rangers 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. 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. Pence added the insurance run the next inning with his fly ball off Octavio Dotel.

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