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How sweep it is: Giants finish off Tigers

Monday - 10/29/2012, 9:57am  ET

By RONALD BLUM
AP Sports Writer

DETROIT (AP) - Kung Fu Panda, The Freak, The Beard and all their seed-throwing buddies are on top of baseball _ again.

They may be under the radar, unappreciated and unexpected. But they're unassailable, the winner of two World Series titles in the last three years.

Their sweep of the Detroit Tigers, completed Sunday night with a 4-3, 10-inning win, was simply historic.

No National League team had swept a World Series since the 1990 Cincinnati Reds.

No NL team had won twice in a three-year span since the Big Red Machine in 1975-76.

"I'm numb, really, the fact that we've won two World Series in the last three years," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "This will sink in, but right now, I'm kind of speechless on that."

This happens in the NL only slightly more often than appearances of Haley's Comet. They are just the fifth NL team to accomplish the feat since the 1907-08 Chicago Cubs, joining the 1921-22 New York Giants, the St. Louis Cardinals of `44 and `46, the Los Angeles Dodgers of `63 and `65, and that Big Red Machine.

And these Giants did it with small ball, becoming only the fifth big league team _ and the first since the 1982 Cardinals _ to win the title after finishing dead last in home runs during the regular season.

"Our guys had a date with destiny," Giants general manager Brian Sabean said.

Marco Scutaro delivered one more key hit this October, a go-ahead single with two outs in the 10th inning against Phil Coke.

On a night of biting cold, stiff breezes and some rain, the Giants sealed the title when Sergio Romo got Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to look at strike three for the final out.

"Tonight was a battle," said Giants catcher Buster Posey, the NL batting champion. "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."

Posey, the only player in the starting lineup when San Francisco win the 2010 clincher at Texas, celebrated with his teammates in the center of the Comerica Park diamond. In the clubhouse, they hoisted the trophy, passed it around and shouted the name of each player who held it.

"World Series champions!" hollered outfielder Hunter Pence, who started the pregame seed-tossing ritual.

Pablo Sandoval, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda, was benched for most of the 2010 Series and then went 8 for 16 this year, including a three-homer performance in Game 1, to win MVP honors.

"I was ready for the moment," he said. "I was waiting for the opportunity to be in the playoffs again."

Cabrera delivered the first big hit for Detroit, interrupting San Francisco's run of dominant pitching with a two-run, wind-blown homer over the right-field wall in the third.

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.

San Francisco then won a battle of bullpens.

Ryan Theriot led off the 10th with a single against Phil Coke, moved up on Brandon Crawford's sacrifice and scored on a shallow single by Scutaro, the MVP of the NL championship series. Center fielder Austin Jackson made a throw home, to no avail.

"We were very adamant that we have to step on their throats," Giants pitcher Barry Zito said. "We saw what they did to New York."

Santiago Casilla got one out in the ninth for the win. 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," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "It was freaky. I would have never guessed we would have swept the Yankees and I would have never guessed the Giants would have swept us."

The Giants combined for a 1.42 ERA, outscored the Tigers 16-6 and held them to a .159 batting average _ third-lowest in Series history ahead of only the 1966 Baltimore Orioles (.146) and 1966 Dodgers (.142).

"This was the worst day of my career," Tigers catcher Alex Avila said. "They played great, and we didn't. It's that simple."

The NL has won three in a row for the first time in 30 years. San Francisco won six elimination games en route to the title.

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