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Scutaro, Giants finish off Series sweep

San Francisco Giants second baseman Ryan Theriot (5) is greeted by teammates after he scores the winning run in the tenth inning on a RBI by San Francisco Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro (19) as the San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in Game 4 of the World Series.

By Matt Kawahara, The Sacramento Bee –

DETROIT — No doubt Marco Scutaro had waited a long time for the at-bat.

Days before, the 36-year-old infielder had caught the final out to send himself and the Giants, his sixth major league team, to the World Series. Sunday night, he came up with a man on second and two outs in the 10th inning of a tie game and delivered a signature line drive up the middle that will forever have its own place in Giants lore.

Scutaro’s single off Detroit Tigers closer Phil Coke became the go-ahead hit in Game 4 of the World Series as Ryan Theriot slid across home plate.

It became the Series-winning hit when side-winding Sergio Romo struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th, throwing a fastball past a frozen Miguel Cabrera for the final out of a 4-3 Giants win.

For the second time in three years, the Giants are the kings of baseball. For the first time since 1954, they did it in a sweep, beating the Tigers in four games in the World Series, culminating their 2012 season with a furious finish of seven wins in a row.

“I don’t even know how to describe it,” said right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, the 35-year-old first-time World Series champion, whose eyes may have been red from champagne spraying around him, though goggles were propped on his head. “I got punched in the mouth, and I don’t even care, let’s start with that. It’s amazing.

“I’m just glad that the whole world got to see what our team’s really about. Starting in Game 5 of the NLCS, we really played our best games of baseball at the right time. I’m just glad everyone got to see what our team is able to do.”

Romo zipped an 89-mph fastball past Triple Crown winner Cabrera to end it. Buster Posey, a year ago rehabbing his shredded ankle, exploded out of his crouch and sprinted for Romo, who pumped his arms and screamed. At first base, Brandon Belt threw his glove in the air.

“Just a lot of hard work,” Belt said. “A lot of hard work went into this.”

Near second, Scutaro, the quiet midseason acquisition nicknamed “Blockbuster” for his impact, sank to his knees and pointed at the sky before jumping into the arms of center fielder Angel Pagan. After Theriot led off the 10th with a single and moved up on a sacrifice bunt from Brandon Crawford, Pagan had struck out one batter before Scutaro.

“Believe it or not, I was praying to God for him to get a base hit,” Pagan said. “I wanted to be the one. But I didn’t do it. So I wanted him to pick me up.”

Scutaro did with the biggest hit of his career, bigger than any of the record-tying 14 he had en route to MVP honors in the National League Championship Series.

Pablo Sandoval, the MVP of the World Series with his historic three-homer night in Game 1 and .500 Series batting average, exulted in the on-deck circle.

“He earned this situation right here, the World Series champ,” Sandoval said of Scutaro. “He’s been through a lot of things in his career. He earned this.”

As had Theriot, who lost playing time after Scutaro’s emergence, but was manager Bruce Bochy’s choice for designated hitter Sunday. For Bochy, it was the second World Series title in his third try as manager, in the same city where he lost the only Series he reached as a player in 1984. In the middle of the visiting clubhouse, smiling wide, he hoisted the World Series trophy under a bubbly deluge.

“I couldn’t be prouder of these guys,” Bochy said. “It’s amazing what they accomplished. I think when you look at this club, the terms ‘teamwork,’ ‘team play’ — that’s used loosely. But these guys truly did.”

Barry Zito, the Game 1 winner whose resurgence this season extended into the playoffs, deflected credit.

“I know he does get some credit,” Zito said of Bochy. “But he should get all the credit.”

Perhaps no player better embodied the Giants’ resiliency this season than Posey, who came back from his injury to lead the majors in hitting. His two-run homer in the sixth off Tigers starter Max Scherzer gave the Giants a 3-2 lead, one Matt Cain could not quite hold in the bottom of the sixth, when he allowed a tying homer to Delmon Young.

“There was certainly no bad breaks, no fluke,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “I tip my hat to them. Simple, they did better than we did.”

And afterward, the Giants team that fought off elimination a record six times in its first two postseason series huddled in the middle of a delirious clubhouse, passing a silver trophy from man to man, jumping and chanting as one.

“We did some stuff that never has been done before,” Pagan said. “In the playoffs, we were against the wall twice, and we refused to go. We refused to go home. We played with a lot of determination. And look what we have now.”

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