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Major League Baseball

Giants blank Tigers, grab 2-0 series lead

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 07:21 PM
SAN FRANCISCO -

Madison Bumgarner pitched two-hit ball over seven innings, Brandon Crawford drove in the go-ahead run with a double-play grounder after a key bunt stopped just fair along the third-base line, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0 on Thursday night to take a 2-0 World Series lead.

Bumgarner, who lost both his starts in the NL playoffs, struck out eight and walked two, and Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo finished with perfect relief.

Hunter Pence led off the seventh with a single off Doug Fister, and reliever Drew Smyly walked Brandon Belt. Gregor Blanco's bunt stopped on the dirt up the third-base line, 3 to 4 inches fair. With the infield in at the corners, Crawford grounded to second baseman Omar Infante.

Pence added a sacrifice fly in the eighth off Octavio Dotel.

With the Tigers trying to even the Series, Detroit's Prince Fielder was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Delmon Young's double in the second inning. Fister remained in the game after getting hit on the head by Gregor Blanco's line drive in the bottom half.

After tying the Series record by homering three times during San Francisco's 8-3 win in the opener, the Giants' Pablo Sandoval was 1 for 3 with a sixth-inning single.

Bumgarner, 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA in two playoff appearances, was sharp from the start. When he struck out Austin Jackson and Omar Infante starting the game, he joined Christy Mathewson (1905) and Carl Hubbell (1933) as the only Giants pitchers to open a Series game with consecutive strikeouts.

Fister, who haa an ERA barely over 1.00 in three postseason starts without a decision, gave up three hits, struck out three and walked one, throwing 108 pitches. He pitched shutout ball for 61/3 innings in his previous start, against the Yankees in the ALCS.

Fielder was hit on the right shoulder by a pitch leading off the second and Young, the ALCS MVP, lined the ball down the left-field line. Blanco picked up the ball after it caromed off the fence in foul territory and threw to second baseman Marco Scutaro near third base.

Fielder sped up as he turned third base. As he slid late, his left leg popped up off the dirt, and he was tagged on the butt by catcher Buster Posey. Dan Iassogna, working his first Series game behind the plate, made a demonstrative out call, and Tigers manager Jim Leyland came out of the dugout to argue briefly.

Fister was struck just above the right ear by Blanco's line drive with one on and two outs in the bottom half. The ball ricocheted into short center for a single.

"Whoa!" Iassogna said as he came out from behind the plate, adding: "Doug, you OK?" when he got to the mound.

After Fister was checked out by Leyland and pitching coach Jeff Jones, he loaded the bases with a walk to Crawford. Bumgarner hit a soft looper to shortstop Jhonny Peralta, ending the inning. That started a streak of 12 straight outs for Fister before Sandoval's single.

Forty-one of 52 teams to take 2-0 leads have gone on to win the title. The Giants swept the first two games at home two years ago against Texas en route to their first championship since 1954.

When the Series resumes in Detroit on Saturday night, midseason acquisition Anibal Sanchez starts for the Tigers and Ryan Vogelsong for the Giants.

Temperatures in the Motor City this weekend are expected to be in the low-to-mid 40s.

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