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Tigers' Fister pitches well but can't stop Giants

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- It wasn't exactly Doug Fister's night.

The Tigers right-hander took the tough-luck loss as the San Francisco Giants shut out Detroit 2-0 on Thursday night in Game 2 of the World Series. He also left AT&T Park with a small lump on his head that was caused by more than the Giants taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Fister was struck on the right side of his head by a line drive off the bat of Giants left fielder Gregor Blanco in the second inning. The ball caromed in center field for a single.

Fister was checked by Tigers trainer Kevin Rand and stayed in the game. Fister went on to have a strong start, as he allowed only one run in six-plus innings.

However, he had nothing but a loss to show for effort, and he is 0-1 in three postseason starts despite a 1.40 ERA.

"I thought Fister was terrific," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Fister had not pitched since Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees 12 days earlier, and Leyland was concerned the layoff would have an effect.

"I was little worried going in that maybe his control wouldn't be real good, but I think he did a tremendous job," Leyland said. "He just wasn't quite as good as Bumgarner, but he was pretty darn good."

Giants starter Madison Bumgarner pitched seven innings and combined with relievers Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo on a two-hit shutout. The Tigers were blanked just twice in the regular season.

It was a scary moment when Fister was hit in the head, but he said it wasn't as bad as it looked.

"I didn't see any stars. I didn't have a headache," Fister said. "My dad's saying has always been, 'If I get hit in the head, then I'm OK.' For me, it's just a mindset. You're not going to take me out of the game. I knew where I was. There was just a little bump."

At first, Leyland was alarmed. However, he was quickly relieved once he reached the mound.

"I was scared to death when it happened," Leyland said. "It was a scary moment, obviously, but he was fine. He answered all the questions the trainer asked. You know, it's a little scary for a manager because you never know if there's a later reaction with something like that."

Meanwhile, the Tigers haven't reacted well in the first two games of the series. Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera seems rather alarmed at the way they have played.

"I don't know how to say it, but we are slow a little bit right now," said Cabrera, who is 1-for-5 with a walk and an RBI in the World Series. "We need to pick it up, be more aggressive and gain more confidence."

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