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Published: Sunday, 10/28/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

No growl in Tigers in Game 3

San Francisco on verge of sweep after blanking Detroit again

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS COLUMNIST
Detroit's Jhonny Peralta tosses his helmet after he popped out in the sixth inning of Game 3. The Tigers have been shut out in back-to-back games, the first time that has happened in the World Series since the Orioles did it to the Dodgers in 1966. Detroit's Jhonny Peralta tosses his helmet after he popped out in the sixth inning of Game 3. The Tigers have been shut out in back-to-back games, the first time that has happened in the World Series since the Orioles did it to the Dodgers in 1966.
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DETROIT — On a brisk and windy night, the 42,262 fans at Co­mer­ica Park had the wind stripped from their sails time and time again.

Now, their Tigers are one loss from be­ing swept in the 2012 World Ser­ies.

San Fran­cisco’s pitch­ing sawed off Detroit’s bats in a sec­ond straight shut­out, win­ning 2-0 in Game 3 on Satur­day night.

The faith­ful were ready to cut loose in the bot­tom of the first in­ning with two on and one out, but Prince Fielder grounded into a dou­ble play, com­pleted by a fine scoop by first base­man Bran­don Belt.

Then, trail­ing 2-0, the fans were ready to see the Tigers get back in it in the third when Omar In­fante blooped a hit to right and Austin Jack­son beat out an in­field chop­per to third.

There was one out, and Miguel Cabrera, Detroit’s Tri­ple Crown win­ner, was on deck. But it never got to him as Quin­tin Berry grounded to short­stop for a dou­ble play.

It did get to Cabrera in the fifth in­ning with the bases loaded and two outs. When Cabrera popped up on an 0-1 pitch to Giants short­stop Bran­don Craw­ford to end it, you could have heard a pin drop in the hushed crowd.

Rally-kill­ers left and right.

WORLD SERIES NOTEBOOK: Cabrera, Posey honored before game

At the start of this se­ries, nearly ev­ery­one gave the Tigers an edge in start­ing pitch­ing af­ter the Detroit ro­ta­tion muz­zled the New York Yan­kees in an ALCS sweep.

And while the Tigers have got­ten pretty good ef­forts the last two games, San Fran­cisco’s staff is vir­tu­ally un­touch­able.

Ryan Vo­gel­song was far from per­fect last night, al­low­ing five hits and walk­ing four in 5 2/3 in­nings of work, but he was at his best when it counted and killed those ral­lies, al­low­ing zero runs.

Vo­gel­song has started four post­sea­son games, won three of them, and has al­lowed a to­tal of three runs. His pre­vi­ous out­ings were in the NL’s di­vi­sion and cham­pi­on­ship se­ries and he was mak­ing his World Ser­ies de­but Satur­day night.

When he walked Andy Dirks with two outs in the sixth, Giants man­ager Bruce Bochy turned it over to Tim Lince­cum. He and closer Ser­gio Romo, who came on for the ninth, han­dled things from there.

Jhonny Per­alta sent a slight jolt through the quiet crowd in the bot­tom of the ninth when he hit a 2-2 slider, up in the zone, from Romo to deep left. Not only did it end up be­ing foul, but Giants’ left-fielder Gre­gor Blanco hauled it in against the side wall in the cor­ner for the first out.

If an 0-3 def­i­cit isn’t bad enough for the Tigers, they’ve yet to face the man con­sid­ered San Fran­cisco’s ace starter. That will come to­night when Matt Cain, 16-5 dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, with one of the wins be­ing a per­fect game, makes his first ap­pear­ance of this World Ser­ies.

Max Scherzer will be the starter for Detroit at 8:15 p.m., in what is a must-win game.

Ani­bal San­chez gave the Tigers an ef­fort that was good enough to win if only his team­mates could have gen­er­ated some runs.

"I thought he was prob­a­bly over-com­pet­ing a lit­tle early and then he set­tled in and was ter­rific," Detroit man­ager Jim Ley­land said of San­chez. "We’ve done a pretty good job of pitch­ing since the first game. But we’ve been shut out for 18 in­nings, and that makes it pretty hard to win a game.

"I thought we had Ryan on the ropes a cou­ple times to­night, but we couldn’t get the killer hit, the killer blow."

Tigers second baseman Omar Infante hits a single during the fifth inning of Game 3. Detroit's rally stalled when Miguel Cabrera popped out with the bases loaded. Tigers second baseman Omar Infante hits a single during the fifth inning of Game 3. Detroit's rally stalled when Miguel Cabrera popped out with the bases loaded.
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So, what does Ley­land tell his play­ers?

"They know," he said. "They can count. We’re down three games to zero. No se­cret for­mula from here. Just win one."

San­chez went seven in­nings and struck out eight. But he had one bumpy eve­ning, and that’s all it took against the red-hot Giants, who have won six straight games since fall­ing be­hind the St. Louis Car­di­nals, three games to one, in the NLCS.

San­chez strug­gled with ev­ery­thing, but es­pe­cially his off-speed pitches, dur­ing the sec­ond in­ning.

It started with a four-pitch walk to Giants leadoff hit­ter Hunter Pence. On a called third strike to Belt, Pence stole sec­ond base and ten went to third on a wild pitch.

Blanco fol­lowed with a blast that car­omed off the base of the wall in right-cen­ter for a stand-up tri­ple. That made it 1-0 and when Craw­ford sin­gled one out later Blanco strolled home for a 2-0 San Fran­cisco lead.

San­chez was fine be­fore and af­ter, his slider and change giv­ing the Giants fits at time.

But there was no over­com­ing that one in­ning for the Tigers, whose bat­ting av­er­age for the Ser­ies dipped be­low .180 as a team.

If those stats don’t change to­night, the World Ser­ies will be over in four games.

Con­tact Blade sports col­um­nist

Dave Hack­en­berg at:

dhack@the­blade.com

or 419-724-6398.



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