DETROIT: Crafting a World Series sweep with masterful pitching and clutch hits, the San Francisco Giants won a second Major League Baseball title in three seasons Sunday with a 4-3 victory over Detroit.
The Giants routed Detroit four games to none in the best-of-seven final and after a 2010 Series triumph over Texas won the club’s seventh championship overall, five of them coming before the team moved from New York in ’58.
“I’m numb to the fact we’ve won two World Series in the past three years. I’m kind of speechless,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
“It’s amazing. I’m proud of a group of guys who weren’t going to be denied. I couldn’t be prouder of a group who played the game so well.”
Ryan Theriot, who won a World Series last year with St Louis, scored the title-winning run for the Giants in the 10th inning on a single by Marco Scutaro, who made the key hit two days before his 37th birthday.
Theriot singled to right field, advancing to second base on Brandon Crawford’s sacrifice bunt and raced home on a two-out single by Scutaro, who has played for six different clubs in 10 major league seasons.
“It was fitting for him to get the game-winning hit,” Bochy said. “Those two did a great job for us.”
Giants relief ace Sergio Romo entered in the bottom half of the 10th and struck out leadoff hitter Austin Jackson, pinch hitter Don Kelly and Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera for the last outs to ignite a victory celebration.
San Francisco became the 21st team to capture the throne in a sweep and kept the Tigers searching for their first World Series crown since ’84.
“I’m a little bit flabbergasted to be honest,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “I would never have thought the Giants would have swept us, but it happened. It’s a freaky game. It happened. So be it.”
San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval was named Most Valuable Player of the World Series.
The Venezuelan slugger nicknamed “Kung Fu Panda” blasted three home runs in the Giants’ game-one triumph and had 24 total hits in the playoffs including six homers, five doubles and 13 runs batted in during the title run.
“I was ready for the moment,” Sandoval said. “I was waiting for the opportunity so I pulled everything together.”
The Giants were often on the brink of elimination in the play-offs, winning the last three games of their first post-season series against Cincinnati then needing to take the last three against St Louis to reach the World Series.
“When our backs are on the wall, that’s the time when we’re having fun,” said Sandoval.
“A lot of guys are loose and relaxed and it just seemed like all the pieces fit together,” said San Francisco’s game-four starting pitcher Matt Cain.
A cold and windy night turned damp when rain arrived in the fifth inning and the pitching skill that had dominated the previous two games began to wither.
With San Francisco trailing for the first time in the World Series, Buster Posey blasted an off-speed offering from Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer into the left-field stands for a two-run homer that gave the Giants a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning.
Scutaro had led off the sixth with an infield single down the third base line and Posey made it pay off with his blast just inside the foul pole to put Detroit behind once more.
But Delmon Young answered for the Tigers in the home half of the sixth by smashing the first pitch he saw from Cain into the right-field stands for a solo homer to equalize at 3-3.
Cabrera, the star slugger who only had been hitting 2-for-9 in the World Series, had smacked a two-run homer in the third inning to give the Tigers a 2-1 advantage and end a run of 20 scoreless innings for Detroit.
San Francisco had not trailed in 56 playoff innings, winning the last three games of the National League finals and the first three World Series games by a combined run total of 32-4.
That post-season streak without trailing was the second-longest run in major league history, behind only a 60-inning stretch by the 2004 Boston Red Sox.
San Francisco took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Hunter Pence bounced the ball over the center-field wall for a ground rule double and scored when Brandon Belt, who had been 0-for-10 in the Series, tripled to right field.