SAN FRANCISCO -- It's starting to look like 2010 again.
Two years ago, a supposedly overmatched Giants team threw up an impenetrable wall of pitching against Texas, dispatching the AL champion in five games.
Madison Bumgarner, who starred in that Series, reprised that role Thursday night, allowing two hits and striking out eight in seven innings as the Giants beat the Tigers, 2-0, at AT&T Park. The Giants, as they did in 2010, lead the Series 2-0.
"What a job he did,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Bumgarner, who was 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA in two previous starts this postseason.
What was different from his last two starts? "I went into the seventh inning instead of getting taken out in the third,'' Bumgarner said, drawing laughter. "But I think the only difference was being able to make pitches.''
The Giants needed standout pitching, as hits were at a premium. They outhit the Tigers 5-2, scoring on a double-play ball and a sacrifice fly.
Game 3 is Saturday night in Detroit, where Anibal Sanchez will try to get the Tigers on the board against Ryan Vogelsong.
"I'm not going to rip my offense because last night [8-3 loss], I thought we had some pretty good swings,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We had the unfortunate play at the plate early, so no, I think our offense is fine.''
Doug Fister, who took a liner off his head in the second inning, was the hard-luck loser. After Fister allowed a leadoff single by Hunter Pence in the seventh and was replaced by Drew Smyly, the Giants scored the first run on a double play with the bases loaded and none out. Fister, 0-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two previous starts this postseason, allowed one run and four hits in six innings.
Pence, who scored the seventh-inning run, hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
The play Leyland referenced occurred in the second inning and might have been the game's biggest. Bumgarner hit Prince Fielder with a pitch to start the inning and Delmon Young followed with a double over third base. As the ball bounced off the divider in foul ground and back into leftfield, coach Gene Lamont waved Fielder home.
Gregor Blanco threw to second baseman Marco Scutaro, who fired a strike to Buster Posey. His sweep tag beat the sliding Fielder by inches, and the lumbering first baseman was correctly called out by Dan Iassogna. "That was huge,'' Bumgarner said. "A big momentum-shifter for me. A huge play.''
Leyland thought Lamont should have thrown up the stop sign. "We wanted to be aggressive and I think [Lamont] just got a little overaggressive,'' he said. "It was a bang-bang play.''
Said Bochy: "I thought he would score, the way it carried off the wall. It took two perfect throws to get him.''
Leyland left himself open to second-guessing later on. Pence led off the seventh with a single off Fister and Leyland brought in the lefthanded Smyly to face lefthanded-hitting Brandon Belt. After Smyly walked Belt, Blanco bunted for a single to load the bases. Brandon Crawford grounded to second and Omar Infante conceded the run, starting a 4-6-3 double play.
"A no-brainer,'' Leyland said of his decision to have the infield at double-play depth. "Some people might debate that, but I felt we had to take our best shot to come out of it with one run because if we don't score, it doesn't make any difference anyway. I can't let them open the game up.''
But the way Bumgarner, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo pitched, one run opened it up plenty. Sounding very much like 2010 again.