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MLB Notebook: Giants complete rare feat with sweep

The 2012 Fall Classic was just the fourth to feature a matchup between one team which had swept a best-of-seven League Championship Series (the Tigers) against a club which went the full seven in their League Championship Series (the Giants).

And thanks to San Francisco, the go-the-distance clubs are now a perfect 4-for-4 against the sweepers. In 1988, the Dodgers defeated the Mets in seven games before vanquishing the Athletics in the World Series. In 2006, the Cardinals needed all seven games in the National League Championship Series before dispatching the Tigers in the World Series. And a year later, the Red Sox defeated the Indians in seven in the American League Championship Series and then were seen hoisting the World Series trophy after a four-game Fall Classic sweep against the Rockies.

Giant championship
The Giants defeated the Tigers, 4-3, in 10 innings, completing a four-game sweep to capture the title in the 108th World Series.

The Giants have won seven World Series titles, and two in the past three years. In addition to 2010 and '12, they also won the Fall Classic in 1905, '21, '22, '33 and '54.

This sweep in 2012 represented the 21st in World Series history. The full list: 1907 (includes a tie in Game 1), '14, '22 (includes a tie in Game 2), '27, '28, '32, '38, '39, '50, '54, '63, '66, '76, '89, '90, '98, '99, 2004, '05, '07 and '12. The year's sweep marks the third time the Giants have won a World Series without losing a game, with the other occurrences coming in 1922 (against the Yankees) and '54 (against the Indians). The Tigers were swept in the Fall Classic for the second time, following a sweep at the hands of the Cubs in 1907.

The Giants are the first NL team to sweep a World Series since the Reds defeated the Athletics in 1990.

World Series clinchers in extras
The 10-inning, 4-3 victory marked the eighth time a clinching World Series contest was concluded in extra innings. This affair marked the fourth time the Giants have been involved, and the second time they've come out on the winning end. Here are some details on the eight occurrences.

1912: The Red Sox, down 2-1 to the Giants, get two in the bottom of the 10th, with the series-winning run coming on Larry Gardner's sacrifice fly. Boston wins the World Series in eight games (with Game 2 having ended in a tie).

1924: The Senators beat the Giants, 4-3, in 12 innings. The series-winning run comes from Earl McNeely's game-ending double to score Muddy Ruel. Washington takes the series in seven games.

1933: The Giants get a run in the top of the 10th -- on a home run by Mel Ott -- and hold on to defeat the Senators, 4-3. New York wraps up the series in five games.

1939: The Yankees score three in the top of the 10th and go on to defeat the Reds, 7-4, completing a four-game sweep.

1991: The Twins get a series-ending single from Gene Larkin in the bottom of the 10th to defeat the Braves, 1-0. Minnesota takes the series in seven games.

1992: The Blue Jays score two in the top of the 11th, hold the Braves to one run in the bottom half of the inning, and defeat Atlanta, 4-3. Toronto wins the series in six games.

1997: The Marlins get a walk-off single from Edgar Renteria in the bottom of the 11th inning to defeat the Indians, 3-2. Florida wins the series in seven games.

2012: The Giants get an RBI single from Marco Scutaro in the top of the 10th, get a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half and defeat the Tigers, 4-3.

Pablo Sandoval
Sandoval, who finished the Fall Classic 8-for-16 with three runs scored, a double, three home runs and four RBIs, was named MVP.

Sandoval is the second Giant to be named MVP, joining Renteria in 2010.

Sandoval is one of 10 third basemen to be named MVP, and the second in as many years. The full list: Brooks Robinson (1970), Pete Rose ('75), Mike Schmidt ('80), Ron Cey ('81), Ray Knight ('86), Scott Brosius ('98), Troy Glaus (2002), Mike Lowell ('07) and David Freese ('11).

Sandoval went 1-for-5 in Game 4, bringing his 2012 postseason hit total to 24, tying him for the fourth most in postseason history. Marquis Grissom (1995), Darin Erstad (2002) and Freese ('11) are tied for the most, with 25 apiece. Marty Barrett (1986) had 24, as did Tino Martinez in 2000 and Albert Pujols in both 2004 and '11.

Series facts
• The Giants' victory in Game 3 marked the 24th time a team had taken a 3-0 lead in the series. In the previous 23, 20 had won Game 4.

• The Giants finished the 2012 postseason on a seven-game winning streak. During the stretch, the team ERA was 0.98, and the starting staff's ERA was 0.99.

• The Giants held the Tigers to a .159 batting average in the World Series -- the lowest for a team since the Mets held the Orioles to a .146 mark in the five-game Fall Classic in 1969.

• Sergio Romo struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th, picking up his third save of the 2012 World Series. Romo pitched a total of three innings in the series, retiring all nine batters he faced. Romo is the first pitcher in World Series history to record a save in the clinching game by striking out the side in the opponent's final at-bat.

• In the four World Series games, Giants relievers pitched 11 2/3 innings, allowed two runs, two hits and three walks, and fanned 17.

Triple Crown winners in the World Series
Miguel Cabrera homered in a 1-for-4, two-RBI, one-walk effort at the plate in Game 4. Cabrera -- the fifth Triple Crown winner to participate in the World Series -- finished the Fall Classic with three hits in 13 at-bats, with three walks and the homer representing his only extra-base hit of the Series. Here's how his line looks with the other four Triple Crown winners to appear in the Fall Classic.

Ty Cobb (1909): 6-for-26 with three doubles, five RBIs and three runs, two stolen bases in three attempts, two walks and two strikeouts; his Tigers lost in seven games.

Mickey Mantle (1956): 6-for-24 with a double and three home runs, four RBIs and six runs scored, one steal in one attempt, six walks and five strikeouts; his Yankees won in seven games.

Frank Robinson (1966): 4-for-14, with a triple and two home runs, three RBIs and four runs, two walks and three strikeouts; his Orioles won in four games.

Carl Yastrzemski (1967): 10-for-25, with two doubles and three home runs, five RBIs and four runs, four walks and a strikeout; his Red Sox lost in seven games.

Cabrera (2012): 3-for-13 with one home run, three RBIs and a run, three walks and four strikeouts; his Tigers lost in four games.

Strikeout rates
The Tigers struck out 13 batters in Game 4, giving the club 41 punchouts in the Series.

The 41 K's are the most for a pitching staff in a four-game World Series, eclipsing the 37 recorded by the Dodgers against the Yankees in 1963.

The 13 K's followed Detroit's 12 in Game 3. The Tigers are the third team to post consecutive efforts of at least 12 K's. In Games 1 and 2 in 1929, the A's compiled back-to-back 13-strikeout efforts against the Cubs, while in '73, the Mets struck out 15 Athletics in Game 2 and then followed with 14 in Game 3.

In addition to Tigers pitchers combining for 13 K's, the Giants' staff had 12. The only other game in World Series history to see each pitching staff collect at least 12 strikeouts was Game 3 in 2000, when the Mets fanned 12 and the Yankees struck out 13.

Senior Circuit dominance
With the Giants winning the World Series in 2010 and '12 and the Cardinals capturing the title in '11, the Fall Classic has seen three consecutive NL teams capture the crown for the first time since 1979-82, when the Pirates, Phillies, Dodgers and Cardinals were champions.

Miguel Cabrera, Pablo Sandoval