The tried-and-true formula of good pitching and timely hitting won out in the 2010 Fall Classic.
Tim Lincecum’s eight solid innings of pitching and Edgar Renteria’s clutch three-run homer led the San Francisco Giants to their franchise’s first title since 1954 with a 3-1 victory over the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the World Series. The two-time Cy Young winner was stellar throughout the night, only allowing three hits and one run while striking out ten.
"We wanted to just nail it down here in Texas," Lincecum said. "That was a big thing, coming in here, kind of shutting them up, doing what we can, just playing good defense, getting runs and just manufacturing good ball, I guess."
For six innings, Game 5 turned into the pitching duel that was expected in Game 1 between Texas ace Cliff Lee and Lincecum. Both hurlers tossed six shutout frames before a key seventh inning that would decide the series.
Giants Cody Ross and Juan Uribe started the top of the seventh with singles off Lee. After an Aubrey Huff sacrifice and a Pat Burrell strikeout, the hot-hitting Edgar Renteria stepped to the plate. The Rangers decided to pitch to him despite having first base open, and the San Francisco shortstop deposited a 2-0 pitch over the left-center wall to give the scrappy Giants a 3-0 lead.
The only blemish in Lincecum’s night was giving up a Nelson Cruz solo shot in the bottom of the seventh. After an Ian Kinsler walk, the free-spirited Giants’ ace struck out David Murphy and Bengie Molina to end the inning. Lincecum tossed a perfect eighth and turned it over in the ninth to closer Brian Wilson, who preserved San Francisco’s first title since moving west in 1958.
"They did all right," Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said. "I couldn't be prouder of the group. It just goes to show you what a team can do when they play with heart and determination. They just couldn't be denied."
Renteria was named the MVP, going 7-for-17 with six RBIs in the series. Even more impressive, he joined Yankees legends Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig as the only four players to have title-clinching RBIs in two World Series. The well-traveled shortstop had the memorable game-winning hit in the 11th inning of the 1997 World Series that gave the Florida Marlins a Game 7 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
It was special season for both clubs. Texas got their first-ever postseason series win in the ALDS over the Rays, and then beat the favored Yankees in the ALCS. However, the Rangers could not overcome the incredible pitching of the Giants in the end.
"They beat us soundly," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "They deserve it."
The Giants victory ended baseball’s third-longest World Series drought, which dated back to the 1954 season when the franchise was in New York.
"This buried a lot of bones -- '62, '89, 2002," San Francisco general manager Brian Sabean said. "This group deserved it, faithful from the beginning. We're proud and humbled by the achievement."
The Giants franchise now has six titles overall, tying them for fifth in MLB history with the Dodgers, and only trailing the Yankees (27), Cardinals (10), Athletics (9) and Red Sox (7).