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Giants blank Tigers in second straight game, move within one win of World Series championship

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Giants righty Ryan Vogelsong wasn’t especially sharp, allowing five hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings, but he kept the Tigers scoreless and his bullpen continued that pattern of zeroes as San Francisco won Game 3 of the World Series 2-0 on Saturday in Detroit to take a 3-0 Fall Classic lead.

Tim Lincecum was again dominant in mid-relief, yielding no hits and fanning three in 2 1/3 innings before handing the ball over to Sergio Romo for the save. Lincecum now has a stellar 0.69 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 13 innings as a reliever this postseason.

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez had one shaky inning but was otherwise good, surrendering only two runs in seven total frames while punching out eight and walking only one. But his offense was of no help.

Miguel Cabrera, the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years and the likely American League MVP, finished 1-for-4 and left three runners on base. He’s batting just .267 with a .765 OPS in these playoffs. Prince Fielder was also listless, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts while watching his postseason slash line plummet to .188/.250/.250. The big man has just one home run and three RBI since the playoffs began.

In all, the Tigers left 14 runners on base. And they weren’t able to manage a single extra-base hit.

As the Detroit batting order continued to sputter, Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval padded his World Series MVP case with a double and a single. He’s two hits shy of the all-time postseason hits record, shared by David Freese (2011), Darin Erstad (2002) and Marquis Grissom (1995).

San Francisco can win it all on Sunday night when Matt Cain duels the Tigers’ Max Scherzer.

Red Sox set a new major league record with 11 strikeouts in a row

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez #52 of the Boston Red Sox works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.

The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.

For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dodgers clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Matt Hazlett/Getty Images
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.

The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.

Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.

It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.