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 out in the 10th inning that lifted the Giants over the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in Game 4 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 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.
Pablo Sandoval, voted most valuable player of the Series, and the underdog Giants celebrated in the center of the diamond at Comerica Park after winning six elimination games this postseason. In the clubhouse, they hoisted the championship trophy, passed it around and shouted the name of each player who held it.
“Detroit probably didn’t know what it was in for,” Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. “Our guys had a date with destiny.”
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 inning. Off the bat, it appeared to be an out — perhaps shy of the warning track. But with winds gusting in excess of 25 mph, the ball carried.
Catcher Buster 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 of the inning.
It became a battle of bullpens, won by the Giants.
Ryan Theriot led off the 10th with a single against Phil Coke, moved up on Brandon Crawford’s sacrifice and scored on Scutaro’s shallow single. Center fielder Austin Jackson made a throw home, to no avail.
Sergio Romo of the Giants 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 victories. They handed the Tigers their seventh straight loss in a World Series game, 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.”
Detroit was shut out in Games 2 and 3. The Giants combined for a 1.46 earned-run average, outscored the Tigers 16-6 and held them to a .159 batting average in four games.
“I think we never found our confidence at home plate,” Cabrera said.
“It was not the same game we played. We could not find our game in the World Series.”