The San Francisco Giants have a two-games-to-none lead over the Texas Rangers in their best-of-seven battle for baseball's World Series title after a second big victory at home. The Giants are just two victories away from claiming the Major League Baseball championship for the first time since 1954, when the team was based in New York City. Texas is trying to win the World Series for the first time in the 50-year history of the franchise.
The San Francisco Giants were an especially rude host to the Texas Rangers Thursday night at AT&T Park, lacking the courtesy to even allow the American League champions a single run in a dominating 9-0 decision. The National League champion Giants were just as unwelcoming in Game 1, knocking off the visiting Rangers 11-7.
San Francisco second baseman Freddy Sanchez said, considering the exceptional pitching by Texas, his team did not expect to score 20 runs in the first two games of the World Series. "They've got a great staff over there, so definitely you've got to be a little bit surprised that we were able to put up those runs, but we'll take it," he said.
In Game 1, Sanchez had posted a team record-tying four hits and three runs.
The starting pitchers were stingy through most of Game 2 in California, and the score was close at 2-0 until the eighth inning.
Texas starter C.J. Wilson allowed only one run in six innings until a blister on a finger of his throwing hand forced him to leave the mound. Giants Edgar Rentaria hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, and Juan Uribe (U-ree-BAY) added a run-scoring single in the seventh.
San Francisco starter Matt Cain allowed just four hits and struck out two Rangers batters in nearly eight innings of work. Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington acknowledged that his big bats had no answer for Cain. "Those guys [the Giants] were good, especially Cain tonight. We had some opportunities early in the ball game to put some runs on the board, and we had the right people up there - and um, I mean, he made his pitches," he said.
The game broke open with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning with no men on base when the Giants exploded for seven runs. The feat tied a team post-season record. The Rangers pitching staff fell apart, giving up four consecutive walks, two with the bases loaded to force in runs.
The Giants torment of the Rangers quickly-flagging bullpen (pitchers) did not end there. Slugger Edgar Rentaria's ground ball to left field put another two runs on the scoreboard, before pinch-hitter Aaron Rowand's triple ushered two more runners across home plate. Andres Torres hit a line drive double driving in the ninth run of the game.
Two consecutive losses have left the Rangers in bad need of a victory, but Texas third baseman Michael Young said they will not get discouraged. "We come to win every night, so it's not going be a reason for us to change our approach. We'll be ready for Game 3, and we'll come out and play hard," he said.
The Texas Rangers will have the opportunity to return San Francisco's contrary brand of hospitality when Major League Baseball's World Series resumes Saturday (2230 UTC) at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas for Game 3.