DETROIT: Ryan Vogelsong escaped trouble three times and Gregor Blanco hit a go-ahead triple to lead the San Francisco Giants 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 the Baltimore Orioles’ staff ended 1966 with three in a row against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Vogelsong became only the third pitcher to make four consecutive starts in a single postseason in which he allowed no more than one run, giving up five hits in 5⅔ 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 the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series, starts for the Giants in Game 4 tonight.
Max Scherzer starts for the Tigers, his first appearance since completing the Tigers’ ALCS sweep of the New York 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, the Tigers were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position on the night and are 1-for-11 in the Series.
The Tigers have lost six consecutive 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 consecutive 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 RBI.
Fans booed when he struck out against Tim Lincecum in the eighth.
The Tigers never trailed during its AL Championship Series sweep of the Yankees, but the Tigers have not led in the World Series.
Vogelsong, 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA in four postseason starts, has traveled through 10 minor league cities plus two in Japan in the last 15 years, also making winter ball stops at the Arizona Fall League and Venezuela. In between, Vogelsong, 35, has gone 37-38 during parts of eight seasons with the Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has gone seven consecutive 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.
The Tigers 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.
The Giants improved to 9-1 in the postseason when scoring first.