Edgar Renteria hits a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning as the San Francisco Giants win the World Series, beating the Texas Rangers 3-1 in a tense Game 5.
San Francisco Giants win World Series
ARLINGTON, TEXAS // Edgar Renteria hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning as the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, beating the Texas Rangers 3-1 in a tense Game 5.
Tim Lincecum allowed just three hits over eight innings to help the Giants take the trophy home to San Francisco for the first time.
"San Francisco is going nuts, we're going nuts and it feels really good," closer Brian Wilson said.
It was an overdue victory. Willie Mays led the Giants to their previous crown in 1954, four years before they moved west. After that, they never quite got it done despite the likes of baseball giants Barry Bonds, Juan Marichal and Willie McCovey.
"This buried a lot of bones - '62, '89, 2002," Giants general manager Brian Sabean said, ticking off losing Series appearances. "This group deserved it, faithful from the beginning. We're proud and humbled by the achievement."
Lincecum outdueled Cliff Lee in an every-pitch-matters matchup that was scoreless until Renteria hit a stunning three-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning. Nelson Cruz homered in the bottom half, but Lincecum preserved the lead.
Lincecum beat Lee for the second time in a week. The two-time National League Cy Young pitching award winner struck out 10 batters.
"Pretty collected. I was very poised out there. From the first inning on my adrenaline kind of just dissipated and I was able to calm down," he said.
Brian Wilson closed for a save, completing a surprising romp through the postseason for a pitching-rich team that waited until the final day to clinch a playoff spot.
Wilson struck out Cruz swinging to end it, turned toward center field and crossed his wrists in front of his chest as he does after all his saves.
"All the experts out there picked us last," Huff said. Normally rough and tough, he teared up.
Manager Bruce Bochy enjoys calling his Giants a ragtag bunch. Maybe Renteria, Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff and Freddy Sanchez fit that description. Cut loose by other clubs this season and before, they all wound up in San Francisco.
"For us to win for our fans, it's never been done there, and with all those great teams," Bochy said.
Bonds spent 15 years with the Giants.
"There is no city that deserves this championship more," Bonds said in a statement. "I grew up watching my dad and godfather as Giants, lived out my dream playing in the same uniform in front of the best fans in the world and I just witnessed the Giants winning the World Series. I am ecstatic for the team, the city and all the fans - you truly deserve it."
Renteria reprised his role of postseason star. His 11th-inning single ended Game 7 of the 1997 World Series and lifted Florida over Cleveland.
"It was a tough year for me," the oft-injured shortstop said. "I told myself to keep working hard and keep in shape because something is going to be good this year."
Ross, the suprising most valuable player of the NL championship series, stayed square and hit a leadoff single, and Juan Uribe followed with another hit up the middle.
That put a runner at second base for the first time in the game and brought up Huff - who led the Giants in home runs this year - who expertly put down the first sacrifice bunt of his career.
Lee struck out Pat Burrell to keep the runners put, but Ross began hopping home as soon as Renteria connected, sending a drive that kept sailing and landed over the left-center field wall.
"It was a classic pitchers' duel down to that home run. Nobody in this room is more disappointed than I am," Lee said.
And just like that, all the Giants' past troubles seemed like ancient history.
The Giants won their previous title when they played in New York at the Polo Grounds in 1954 before moving west four years later.
In the Year of the Pitcher, the World Series proved the oldest adage in the game: Good pitching stops good hitting, every time. Lincecum and the team with the best ERA in the big leagues completely shut down Josh Hamilton and the club with the majors' top batting average.
"This doesn't make sense. You don't realise it. It's something that's surreal. But that's what we are, World Series champs," Giants pitcher Matt Cain said.
Back on regular rest, Lee and Lincecum were sharper than ever.
Lee was in command from the start, mixing his fastball, curve, cutter and changeup at will. Lincecum looked even more wicked, causing Hamilton to take such an awkward swing that his bat whirly-birded 20 rows into the stands.
"We just got cold at the wrong time with the bats," he said.
Neither team got a runner past first base through the six innings.
Lee got Andres Torres to swing way over a breaking ball for strike three to begin the game, then made Sanchez take a wild hack before shattering his bat. The left hander retired Ross on a popup to end the inning and exchanged fist bumps with manager Ron Washington.
Ross took another crazy swing in the Giants fourth. And when Uribe later lofted a two-out fly ball, Lee didn't even bother to watch it being caught. He was already trotting toward the dugout.
Lee was in trouble for only an instant before the seventh. Sanchez hit a two-out single in the sixth, his sinking liner glancing off the glove of a diving Cruz in right field. Buster Posey followed with a deep drive that Cruz caught a step before bumping into the padded wall, prompting the rookie Giants catcher to pop his batting helmet with both hands.
Texas hit just .190 in the five games and was outscored 29-12.
"They beat us soundly," manager Ron Washington said. "They deserve it."