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Stellar pitching leaves Giants on verge of World Series title

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers were shut out twice in 162 regular-season games.

They have been shut out by the Giants in each of the past two World Series games, which is why San Francisco is on the brink of winning its second championship in three years after going 54 years without one.

The Giants blanked the Tigers 2-0 on Saturday night in Game 3 at Comerica Park to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. No team has ever come back from being down 3-0 to win a World Series.

"It's a good situation to be up 3-0, but there's nothing been done yet, so you have to keep going about your business as usual," Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

San Francisco right-handers Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo combined on a five-hitter.

Vogelsong worked the first 5 2/3 innings to raise his record to 3-0 in the postseason. Deposed starter Lincecum followed with 2 1/3 innings. Romo pitched a perfect ninth for his second save of the World Series and third of the postseason.

Vogelsong is 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA in four postseason starts, allowing three runs in 24 2/3 innings. In his past seven starts overall, he is 5-0 with a 0.86 ERA.

The Giants have won six consecutive games, dating to Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. They have outscored their opponents 32-4 in that span.

"The club is playing well," Bochy said. "I can't say it's going our way because our guys are doing a great job. A game like this can go either way, and we got it done."

The Giants also have four shutouts during the streak. That ties the record for the most in a single postseason, held by three teams, two of them Giants -- the 1905 New York club and 2010 San Francisco squad. The 1998 New York Yankees also have a share of the mark.

Vogelsong gave up five walks and four hits but was able to keep the Tigers from scoring. He struck out three.

"I didn't think my stuff was as good as it was in the NLCS, but I really just tried to hit (catcher Buster Posey's) glove as many times as I could," Vogelsong said. "I didn't think I was as sharp as I wanted to be, but when the guys are playing (defense) like that behind you, it encourages you to try and get the guys to hit the ball in play."

The 35-year-old journeyman got the Tigers to hit into inning-ending double plays in the first and third innings with runners on first and second. Prince Fielder grounded into the twin killing in the first, and Quintin Berry ended the third-inning rally.

"It seemed like they turned a double play every inning," Tigers reliever Phil Coke said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "If we were able to keep something going, it'd be a different game."

The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Vogelsong struck out Berry, then got American League Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to hit an inning-ending popout to the shortstop.

"I thought we had Ryan on the ropes a couple times," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We couldn't get the killer hit or the killer blow. I thought probably the biggest pitch of the night was the changeup to Berry when (Vogelsong) got the double play because I think it set up the next at-bat for Berry, when he struck out on the fastball. I think the changeup was in the back of his mind a little bit."

Romo also got the benefit of sharp defense in the ninth inning, getting the first out on a fly ball that Gregor Blanco caught on the run in foul territory.

The Giants scored two runs in the second inning off Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez, who had been 2-0 with a 0.94 ERA in his past four starts overall, including 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two postseason starts.

Hunter Pence drew a four-pitch walk to start the second, stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Blanco's triple to deep center field. Brandon Crawford blooped a two-out single to center to drive in Blanco.

Except for that inning, Sanchez pitched well, allowing just six hits in seven innings. He had eight strikeouts and only the walk to Pence.

Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to nine games. He is 16-for-37 (.432) during the streak.

The Tigers have 15 hits, three runs and a .165 average through three games.

"It's just what it is," Fielder said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "If I knew what it was, we'd be hitting better. But it is what it is right now

Game 4 is set for Sunday at 8:15 p.m. ET, with Matt Cain pitching for San Francisco against Max Scherzer.
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