The San Francisco Giants took a two-game World Series lead over the Detroit Tigers thanks to a strong outing by starter Madison Bumgarner and timely hitting in the late innings.
Bumgarner shut out the Tigers’ batters for seven innings Thursday evening, giving up just two hits and benefiting from base running miscues, while the Giants’ bats came alive late to propel them to 2-0 win.
Detroit mounted its biggest threat in the top of the second when Bumgarner hit first baseman Prince Fielder on the arm with a pitch and then left fielder Delmon Young stroked a double into left field.
The Giants’ fielders, however, executed perfectly and Fielder was called out at home on a close play at the plate. Bumgarner then escaped danger by retiring the next two batters.
The Tigers’ starter, Doug Fister, was just as dominant through six innings, but he was taken out after giving up a lead-off single in the bottom of the seventh.
Drew Smyly relieved him and he promptly loaded the bases by giving up a walk and a bunt single. The first run of the game then scored when right fielder Hunter Pence crossed the plate after shortstop Brandon Crawford grounded into a double play.
Pence also played a role in the Giants’ second run, knocking in center fielder Angel Pagan with a sacrifice fly.
Fister survived a scary moment in the bottom of the second, when a line drive off the bat of left fielder Gregor Blanco glanced off his head and went into center field for a single.
The Tigers’ trainers checked on the pitcher but he stayed in the game and seemed unfazed. In the end, however, he was just not quite as good as the Giants’ starter.
“It definitely feels a whole lot better than having our backs against the wall,” Bumgarner said of his team’s 2-0 Series lead. “But you can’t relax. We’ve got to keep pushing.”
Game 3 will be played in Detroit and feature a pitching matchup of the Giants’ Ryan Vogelsong versus the Tigers’ Anibal Sanchez.