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Giants beat Tigers 2-0 for 3-0 World Series lead

For the second consecutive game, the San Francisco Giants rode a dominant pitching performance in a shutout of the Detroit Tigers to pull within a single game of their second World Series championship in three years with a 2-0 victory in Game 3, giving the Giants a 3-0 series lead.

Ryan Vogelsong continued his impeccable pitching ways of this postseason, as he pitched 5.2 innings of shutout baseball, allowing five hits but walking four over 104 to earn the win.  With his performance, Vogelsong became only the third pitcher in major league history to make four consecutive starts in which he allowed no more than one run in a single playoff run.

Out of the bullpen, Tim Lincecum delivered another great performance in relief after his Game 1 dominance by pitching 2.1 innings of near-perfect baseball, in which he walked only one batter, gave up no hits, and struck out three batters.

In the ninth, Sergio Romo notched his second save of the World Series with a perfect frame, and he capped the Giants’ victory with a strikeout of Tigers’ second baseman Omar Infante

For the Tigers, the theme of the evening resided within the multiple missed opportunities Detroit had offensively.  Twice, Detroit had two baserunners on with only one out but hit into double plays each time.

In the bottom of the fifth, Detroit loaded the bases off Vogelsong but were thwarted as the Giants’ hurler struck out Tiger outfielder Quintin Berry and induced a pop-out to short off the bat of Triple Crown Winner—and likely AL MVP—Miguel Cabrera.

Anibal Sanchez pitched seven strong innings for Detroit, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out eight Giant batters. 

But his strong performance was marred in the second inning when Sanchez struggled to find the strike zone, and the Giants capitalized.  Hunter Pence led off the inning with a walk for San Francisco, and then stole second base as first baseman Brandon Belt.

A wild pitch from Sanchez moved Pence to third, and outfielder Gregor Blanco tripled off the top of the wall in deep right-center field to score Pence.  Two batters later, shortstop Brandon Crawford singled to center field, scoring Blanco and providing the Giants with all the offense they would need in Game 3.

Overall, Tigers’ pitching efforts limited the Giants offense severely, as the Giants only managed to post seven hits over the entire game, and struck out 12 Giants.  Sanchez along with relievers Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke held five of San Francisco’s nine hitters hitless Saturday, as the bulk of the offensive production came off the bats of Pence, Crawford, and Pablo Sandoval who picked up two hits apiece.

As good as Detroit was on the mound, however, the Giants were even better.  Detroit only mustered five hits, with the Tigers’ fearsome lineup trio of Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Delmon Young combining for just one hit over 11 collective at-bats.

Detroit will attempt to stave off elimination in Game 4 Sunday as San Francisco chases a sweep with Matt Cain—who pitched a perfect game in the regular season—set to take the hill against Detroit starter Max Scherzer.

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