Giants take 2-0 lead over Tigers in Game 3

Giants take 2-0 lead over Tigers in Game 3
October 27, 2012, 9:27 pm
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San Francisco Giants' Angel Pagan leaps up to celebrate with Brandon Crawford and Hunter Penc after the Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0 in Game 2 of baseball's World Series Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)


DETROIT (AP) Gregor Blanco hit a run-scoring triple off the wall in right-center field in the second and scored on Brandon Crawford's single as the San Francisco Giants took a 2-0 lead over the Detroit Tigers after three innings in World Series Game 3 on Saturday night.

Having swept the first two games at home, the Giants got off to a quick start against Anibal Sanchez. No team has ever lost the first three games and rebounded to win the title.

Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, following lefties Barry Zito and Madison Bumgarner, allowed three hits in the first three innings and induced two inning-ending, double-play grounders.

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, 2-0 with 1.42 ERA in three 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.

Sanchez, acquired from Miami in July, showed rust from his 12-day layoff. He walked Hunter Pence on four pitches starting the second. 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. Brandon Crawford, the No. 9 hitter, lofted a single to short center that Austin Jackson overran for an error.

With the crowd quieted and the Tigers' infielders looking dismayed, Sanchez retired Angel Pagan on an inning-ending grounder to first.

Sanchez allowed three hits in the first three innings, struck out four and walked one, throwing 62 pitches - 31 in the second.

San Francisco, seeking its second title in three years, is brimming with confidence. The Giants entered 8-1 in the postseason when scoring first.

Detroit was 26-25 when facing left-handed starters during the season and 62-49 against righties, according to STATS LLC. The Tigers entered 4-0 at home in the postseason and threatened in the first against Vogelsong.

Quintin Berry walked with one out. Miguel Cabrera, presented with a dark blue and gold crown by Major League Baseball before the game in honor of his Triple Crown, singled to left. But Prince 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 Pablo Sandoval's throw on a four-hopper to third. Berry hit into a 4-6-3 double play on the next pitch.

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 Alex Avila in place of Gerald Laird and made two switches in the outfield. Berry started in left, with Delmon Young moving to DH, and Andy Dirks replaced Avisail Garcia in right.

The gametime temperature of 47 was a 17-degree drop from Game 2. 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.

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.

NOTES: Sandoval singled in the first and grounded out in the third, leaving him 6 for 9 in the Series. ... Cabrera has reached safely in his first 23 postseason games, two shy of Boog Powell's record, according to STATS LLC. ... Zooey Deschanel, who sang ``The Star-Spangled Banner'' before Game 4 last year, became only the second person in a decade to perform the national anthem before Series games in consecutive years. John Legend sang it before Game 2 in 2009 and the 2010 opener.