DETROIT – Finally pressed in the World Series, the San Francisco Giants finished off a most unexpected and stunning sweep.
Marco Scutaro delivered one more key hit this October, hitting a go-ahead single with two outs in the 10th inning that lifted the Giants over the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in Game 4 on Sunday night.
Nearly eliminated over and over earlier in the playoffs, the Giants sealed their second title in three seasons when Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera looked at strike three right down the middle for the final out.
On a night of biting cold, stiff breezes and some rain, the Giants combined the most important elements of championship baseball – great pitching, timely hitting and sharp defense.
Series MVP Pablo Sandoval and the underdog Giants celebrated in the center of the diamond at Comerica Park after winning six elimination games this postseason.
“Tonight was a battle,” said Giants star Buster Posey, who homered. “And I think tonight was a fitting way for us to end it because those guys played hard. They didn’t stop, and it’s an unbelievable feeling.”
Cabrera delivered the first big hit for Detroit, interrupting San Francisco’s run of dominant pitching with a two-run homer that blew over the right-field wall in the third for a 2-1 Tigers lead.
Posey put the Giants ahead 3-2 with a two-run homer in the sixth, and Delmon Young hit a tying home run in the bottom half.
Ryan Theriot led off the 10th with a single against Phil Coke, moved up on Brandon Crawford’s sacrifice bunt, and scored on Scutaro’s shallow single. Center fielder Austin Jackson made a throw home, to no avail.
Sergio Romo struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th for his third save of the Series.
The Giants finished the month with seven straight wins and their seventh Series championship. They handed the Tigers their seventh straight World Series loss dating to 2006.
“Obviously, there was no doubt about it. They swept us,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “So there was certainly no bad breaks, no fluke.
“Simple, they did better than we did.”
An NL team won the title for the third straight season, a run that hadn’t occurred in 30 years. Some find the streak surprising, considering the AL’s recent dominance in interleague play. Yet as every fan knows, the club that pitches best in the postseason usually prevails.
Until the end, the Tigers thought one big hit could shift the momentum. It was an all-too-familiar October lament – Texas felt the same way when the Giants throttled them in 2010, and Tigers knew the feeling when St. Louis wiped them out in 2006.