Cabrera home run gives Tigers 2-1 lead over Giants

Cabrera home run gives Tigers 2-1 lead over Giants
October 28, 2012, 9:37 pm
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Detroit Tigers' Prince Fielder reacts after striking out during the first inning of Game 4 of baseball's World Series against the San Francisco Giants Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(APWF)

DETROIT (AP) Miguel Cabrera hit a wild-blown, two-run homer off Matt Cain in the third inning, and the Detroit Tigers took their first lead of the World Series when they moved ahead of the San Francisco Giants 2-1 on Sunday in Game 4 as they tried to avoid elimination.

Cabrera's drive, on an 86 mph breaking ball, sailed over right fielder Hunter Pence who thought he would catch it but ran out of room on the cool, blustery night. It drove in Austin Jackson, who had walked with one out, ended Detroit's 20-inning scoreless streak, and set off cheers among fans waving white rally towels.

San Francisco, trying to finish off its second title in three years, had not trailed since losing Game 4 of the NL championship series, when it fell into a 3-1 series deficit against St. Louis. The Giants had gone ahead in the second inning when Brandon Belt hit an RBI triple against Max Scherzer following a double by Pence.

The Giants' Pablo Sandoval was 1 for 2 to leave his Series average at .615 (8 for 13) and also made a nimble play to throw out Quintin Berry on a bunt to third.

Detroit's Prince Fielder was hitless in his first two at-bats, dropping to 1 for 12 in the World Series (.083) and 1 for 24 (.042) against right-handers in the postseason.

After watching Barry Zito, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong each allow one run or none in the first three games, Cain allowed two runs and two hits in the first three innings, walked two and struck out one.

Scherzer, pitching on nine days' rest, gave up one run and four hits, struck out four and walked none.

Of the 23 previous teams to take 3-0 leads, 20 swept the Series and three won in five games.

Detroit has lost six straight postseason games. If the Tigers forced a Game 5, ace Justin Verlander would start Monday night and Zito would take the mound for San Francisco. Zito led the Giants over Verlander 8-3 in the opener.

On a cool 44-degree night, with the wind gusting at up to 25 mph, fans bundled up at Comerica Park and some players wore caps with earflaps during batting practice.

Cabrera, who popped up with the bases loaded in the fifth inning of Game 3, walked with two outs in the first to give the Tigers their first baserunner. Fielder struck out on a high 92 mph pitch.

Just before Cabrera batted, Berry hit a drive down the right-field line that was foul by an inch or so.

Pence hit a ground-rule double that bounced over the left-field fence with one out in the second and Belt hit the next pitch off the wall in the right-field corner for a triple. Gregor Blanco grounded to second with the infield playing in, and Ryan Theriot flied out to right.

Delmon Young singled leading off the bottom half and Detroit tried to hit-and-run, with Andy Dirks flying out. Young was stranded when Jhonny Peralta popped out and Omar Infante grounded into a forceout.

San Francisco had runners at the corners in the third on singles by Brandon Crawford and Sandoval, but Buster Posey flied out.

Detroit scratched catcher Alex Avila, playing with a sore right arm since he was hit by a foul tip in the opener, and replaced him with Gerald Laird. Infante moved up to eighth in the batting order.

San Francisco started Theriot at designated hitter instead of Hector Sanchez.