Giants score again in 8th, take 2-0 lead to 9th inning

Did anyone think that Drew Smyly would be the Detroit Tigers' key relief pitcher in Game 2 of the World Series?

Well, he was. Smyly, a southpaw made a lot of sense in the bottom of the seventh inning, when the Giants were about to send three left-handed hitters in a row to the plate. Alas, one of them walked and another dropped a bunt single down the third-base line and another hit a double-play grounder to plate the first run in the game.

Smyly did escape that frame no more damage. And you might have guessed that Jim Leyland would turn elsewhere in the eighth, considering the Tigers' desperate need to keep the score at just 1-0. But Leyland stuck with Smyly, who walked switch-hitter Ángel Pagán. He stole second base, but Smyly did come back to strike out Marco Scutaro. Smyly then issued another walk, to Pablo Sandoval ... but this one was intentional, presumably to set up the double play. Because as good as Sandoval's been this month, you don't usually walk someone to get to Buster Posey, who was on deck.

But Octavio Dotel came in to face Posey. And walked him to load the bases, with just one out. Which was a problem, even with the slumping Hunter Pence due next. As we've seen on other occasions tonight, the Tigers' pitcher simply didn't seem to have a put-away pitch, and ultimately Pence swung his hardest and drove a fly ball to right-center field, plenty deep enough to score Pagán from third to make the score 2-0.

Leyland didn't show nearly as much patience with Dotel as he had with Smyly, and so on came lefty Phil Coke to face Brandon Belt. The count went full, and Coke struck Belt out with one of his typical sweeping sliders.

So the damage was limited. But the way the Tigers have been hitting, the Giants' 2-0 lead after eight innings feels pretty safe. And here comes Sergio Romo to finish things.

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