Ryan Vogelsong escaped trouble three times and Gregor Blanco hit a go-ahead triple to lead San Francisco over the Detroit Tigers 2-0 on Saturday night and move the Giants into a 3-0 World Series lead.
One win from their second title in three seasons, the Giants became the first team to pitch consecutive shutouts in the Series since Baltimore's staff ended 1966 with three straight against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Vogelsong became only the third pitcher to make four straight starts in a single postseason in which he allowed no more than one run, giving up five hits in 5 2-3 innings with four walks and three strikeouts. He induced double-play grounders to escape trouble in the first and third innings, then got Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to pop out with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth.
Matt Cain, coming off a Game 7 win over St. Louis in the NL championship series, starts for San Francisco in Game 4 on Sunday night. Max Scherzer starts for Detroit, his first appearance since completing the Tigers' ALCS sweep of the Yankees.
Blanco hit a run-scoring triple off the wall in right-center field in the second inning against Anibal Sanchez and scored on Brandon Crawford's single.
Pedro Sandoval, who tied the Series record with three home runs in the opener, had two more hits and is hitting .636 (7 for 11).
Blanked in consecutive games for the first time since April 2008, Detroit was 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position on the night and is 1 for 11 in the Series. The Tigers have lost six straight Series games dating to 2006, and no team has ever rebounded from an 0-3 Series deficit to win the title.
Held scoreless for 18 straight innings, the Tigers have gotten little production from the middle of their order. Cabrera, the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, is 2 for 9 with one RBI and Prince Fielder, signed to a $214 million contract in January, is 1 for 10 with no RBIs. Fanned booed when he struck out against Tim Lincecum in the eighth.
While Detroit never trailed during its AL championship series sweep of the New York Yankees, the Tigers have not led in the World Series.
Vogelsong, 3-0 with 1.09 ERA in four postseason starts, has traveled through 10 minor league cities plus two in Japan over the last 15 years, also making winter ball stops at the Arizona Fall League and Venezuela. In between, the 35-year-old has gone 37-38 during parts of eight seasons with the Giants and Pittsburgh. He has gone seven straight starts allowing one run or none, dating to mid-September.
Sanchez, acquired from Miami in July, showed rust from his 12-day layoff. Hunter Pence walked on four pitches starting the second, ending Sanchez's streak of 95 right-handed batters without a walk since Aug. 22, according to STATS LLC. One out later, Blanco pulled a full-count pitch off an advertising board on the fence.
Detroit pulled the infield in -- manager Jim Leyland was criticized by some for leaving his middle infielders back with Game 2 scoreless in the seventh -- and Hector Sanchez struck out. Crawford, the No. 9 hitter, lofted a single to short center that Austin Jackson overran for an error.
With the crowd of 42,262 quieted and the Tigers' infielders looking dismayed, Sanchez retired Angel Pagan on an inning-ending grounder to first.
Sanchez allowed six hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked one.
San Francisco improved to 9-1 in the postseason when scoring first.
Detroit, which lost for the first time in five postseason games this year, had plenty of chances.
Quintin Berry walked with one out in the first and Cabrera, presented with a dark blue and gold crown by Major League Baseball before the game, singled to left. But Fielder bounced into a 4-6-3 double play, dropping to 0 for 5 with runners on in the series and 1 for 19 versus righties in the postseason.
Omar Infante hit a broken-bat single with one out in the third and Jackson reached on an infield hit, beating Sandoval's throw on a four-hopper to third. Berry hit into a 4-6-3 double play on the next pitch.
Alex Avila and Infante singled with one out in the fifth and Jackson's walk loaded the bases, causing pitching coach Dave Righetti to make a trip to the mound and the crowd to start to wave white rally towels.
Berry, who had played just four games above Double-A before this year, swung over a 91 mph pitch and, with Lincecum and Jose Mijares warming up in the bullpen, Cabrera popped to shortstop.
After Vogelsong walked Andy Dirks with two outs in the sixth, Lincecum relieved for the second time in the Series and retired Jhonny Peralta on a flyout.
With the shift to the AL ballpark, Giants manager Bruce Bochy inserted Hector Sanchez as his designated hitter in the No, 8 slot and dropped Crawford to ninth.
Alternating catchers, the Tigers went with Game 1 starter Avila in place of Gerald Laird and made two switches in the outfield. Berry started in left, with Delmon Young moving to DH, and Dirks replaced Avisail Garcia in right.
The gametime temperature of 47 was a 17-degree drop from Game 2, and the ivy on the center fielder batter's background has started to turn autumn red and brown. The Tigers' starters wore long sleeves and the Giants' regulars a mixture of long and three-quarters, with only Vogelsong in short sleeves. Four of the six umpires wore gloves, with plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth and Brian O'Nora at first going with bare hands.
Anibal Sanchez keeps Giants at bay in the top of the first with just one single from Pablo Sandoval.
Sanchez blew one past Buster Posey to end the first half of the inning.
Jackson made contact, but was thrown out at first.
Vogelsong walked Berry.
Fielder hits into a double play to end the ending.
No score at end of inning.
Sanchez walks Hunter Pence
Giants’ Bell struck out at the plate
Giants score first with triple from Gregor Blanco. Score 1-0.
Giants up 2-0 on a Crawford RBI single E8.
Giants hitters go down 1-2-3 in top of inning.
Avila leads off for Tigers – strikes out
Infante base hit to center.
Jackson hits to get on first, moves Infante to second.
Crowd comes back to life but double play ends inning.
Pence gets on base, breaks bat
Belt hits one to out to center field, caught by Detroit’s Jackson
Blanco hits one to center also, caught by Jackson
Pence still hanging out at first base
Hector Sanchez strikes out
Cabrera hits toward second, it’s caught
Fielder’s hit just fans out, DelmonYoung up with two out
Young is walked by Vogelsong.That was the second walk allowed by the Giants starter.
Dirks’ hit goes towards 2nd, is caught and that’s end of inning
Score 2-0 Giants.
Giants’ Crawford strikes out
Detroit’s Jackson catches fly ball to center from Angel Pagan
Scutaro’s hit caught by Cabrera
Scoreless top of the inning.
Peralta up, makes contact but it’s caught by the Panda -- Sandoval
Avila base hit
Infante singles, takes it to two on with one out
Jackson up – he’s walked
Bases loaded as Berry tries his hand at bat. He strikes out.
Cabrera pops out with bases loaded.
Score 2-0 Giants
Sandoval’s hit to center field makes Jackson jet for it, but he makes the catch
Fielder catches Posey’s hit
In-field base hit for Pence.
Belt strikes out
Fielder hits line drive to right and is out
Sandoval catches Delmon Young’s hit
Vogelsong walks Dirks
Vogelsong is out, Lincecum in.
Score 2-0 Giants
Crawford gets his second hit of the night with two out.
Pagan strikes out – that’s eight on the night for Anibal Sanchez.
Alex Avila out
Fly ball to right by Infante, caught
Berry strikes out, again
Score 2-0 Giants
Joaquin Benoit in to pitch for Detroit
Scutaro grounds out
Sandoval hits fly ball to left
Posey strikes out
Pence grounds to Peralta and is retired
Cabrera shatters his bat, but is robbed of a single
Fielder strikes out
Delmon Young gets on base by error on Crawford
Dirks strikes out
Score 2-0 Giants
Phil Coke pitching. Belt struck out swinging.
Blanco struck out looking.
Sanchez struck out swinging.
Romo pitching. Peralta flied out to left fielder Blanco.
Avila flied out to center fielder Pagan.
Infante struck out swinging.