From Comcast SportsNetSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Giants' extended family lingered on the field long after the final out, posing for pictures and savoring the win. Cars honked in the streets outside AT&T Park and fans celebrated in the bars.San Francisco is halfway to the World Series title, not all the way there. Yet, after two days of beneficial bounces and pivotal plays that went their way, the Giants and their supporters seem to think the team's second championship in three years is only a couple of days away."When things are going well," Marco Scutaro said, "things are bouncing your way."Madison Bumgarner pitched two-hit ball over seven innings, the Giants threw out a runner at the plate and then took advantage of a bunt that stayed fair to push across the go-ahead run in a 2-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night that gave them a World Series edge."It's a lot less stressful for sure," Bumgarner said, "but at the same time I don't think we can stop pushing or we're going to find ourselves in the same spot we've been in in the last two series."And that would be on the brink of elimination.San Francisco lost its first two games against Cincinnati, then became the first baseball team to overcome an 0-2 deficit in a best-of-five series by winning three straight on the road. Then the Giants fell into 1-3 hole against St. Louis before rallying to reach the World Series."It's great to get off to a good start," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We don't, believe me, take anything for granted."As in, Gregor Blanco's bunt trickling to a stop inches fair on the infield dirt for a bases-loading, 45-foot single that set up Brandon Crawford's run-scoring double-play grounder in the seventh."I was joking with Roberto Kelly when I got to first base, We practiced that today,'" Blanco said, referring to the Giants' coach. "That was a perfect bunt. I wasn't really trying to do that. I think it was just meant to be."Hunter Pence, in a 1-for-7 Series slide, added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.That was enough for the Giants, given that San Francisco starters have allowed two runs in 33 innings over the last five games, a 0.55 ERA, with 30 strikeouts and six walks."It definitely feels a whole lot better than having our backs against the wall," Bumgarner said. "But you can't relax. We've got to keep pushing."Game 3 will be Saturday night in Detroit, which can't win the title at home. Midseason acquisition Anibal Sanchez starts for the Tigers and Ryan Vogelsong for San Francisco on a night when the temperature in the Motor City is expected to be in the low-to-mid 40s."We can't try to win three in one day," Prince Fielder said. "Or two for that matter."Fielder was thrown out at the plate in the second inning, and in the bottom half pitcher Doug Fister was struck on the right side of his head by Blanco's line drive, a ball hit so hard that it caromed into shallow center field."They asked me the typical concussion questions," Fister said. "I'm not concerned. I have a minor bump. According to my dad, my whole life his saying has always been if I got hit in the head I'd be OK. That's how I take it."The 6-foot-8 Fister managed to stay on the mound. Bumgarner more than matched him. Santiago Casilla pitched a perfect eighth and Sergio Romo worked a 1-2-3 ninth for a save."I don't know about baseball gods, but I'll tell you one thing: I hope the ball keeps bouncing our way," Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt said.Fielder was hit by a pitch starting the second, Delmon Young followed with a double and when the ball rattled around in left field, third-base coach Gene Lamont waved the beefy slugger home.Scutaro, in the middle of every big play for the Giants this month, dashed across the diamond, caught Blanco's relay and sent a strong throw to the plate. All-Star catcher Buster Posey made a swipe tag to Fielder's backside."Any time those kind of freak plays happen that don't go your way," Fielder said. "It takes away a little momentum but you've got to be aggressive. They made a perfect play."Bumped from the NLCS rotation after two poor postseason starts, Bumgarner struck out eight and looked as sharp as he did in the 2010 World Series when as a 21-year-old rookie he beat Texas in Game 4 with eight shutout innings."Just able to make pitches," Bumgarner said. "I hadn't done a very good job of making pitches this postseason so far and this is a team that you're not going to be able to afford to miss with."They hit some balls hard, but luckily we were in the right spot," he said.The game remained scoreless until the seventh, when Pence led off with a single, rookie reliever Drew Smyly walked Brandon Belt on a full-count pitch and Blanco's bunt loaded the bases with no outsDetroit kept its infield back up the middle, and had no play at the plate on Crawford's bouncer to second."We felt like we played double-play depth because we felt like we couldn't give them two runs. That's why we did that, and we got the double play," Leyland said. "To be honest with you, we were absolutely thrilled to come out of that inning with one run. Absolutely thrilled. I mean, we had to score anyway."Of the 52 teams to take a 2-0 lead in the World Series, 41 have gone on to win the title. That includes 14 of the last 15 teams with that advantage."I haven't done any studies on it," Affeldt said, "but statisically it's always better to be 2-0 than 1-1 or 0-2. I'm just guessing."NOTES:Bumgarner struck out Austin Jackson and Omar Infante to start the game. Two other Giants fanned the first two batters in a Series game: Christy Mathewson (1905) and Carl Hubbell (1933). ... Posey has a hit in all seven World Series games in his career.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Raiders defense got embarrassed by Kansas City last week, in front of home fans. That loss to the Chiefs was a boiling point for the NFL’s worst defense, which came under scrutiny for a string of poor performances.
Players weren’t happy allowing yards and points by the bushel, playing in contrast to what they considered great potential.
“Everybody had a bad taste in their mouth,” Khalil Mack said.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were cool mint Scope.
The Raiders defense got right in Sunday’s 33-16 victory at EverBank Field against an offense unable to move the ball downfield. Their 344 yards allowed, while not great, was a season low. Most of that sum came in garbage time, with just 201 yards allowed through three quarters.
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles was sacked once, hit five times and flustered most of the afternoon.
“You could see him smacking his thighs, throwing his head down and his hands up,” cornerback David Amerson said. “I could see that the front seven did a good job harassing him the whole time, getting him out of the pocket. I think we did a good against him.”
While Raiders gave up chunk yards on the ground, they stood tall at important times.
They had two interceptions. The Jaguars were 4-for-13 on third down, just 1-for-4 in the red zone and didn’t cross the goal line for roughly 54 minutes.
“It was huge for us to come out and hold it down on defense,” Mack said. “It was huge for us to get the win.”
Mack came up with a big third-down sack. David Amerson intercepted a pass in the end zone and former Jaguars draft pick Reggie Nelson got Bortles late in the fourth quarter with an opportunistic pick.
“We definitely made him move around a little bit and brought him down a couple times,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “I thought the coverage was a lot better. We gave up some yards in garbage time late, but we were pretty solid throughout the day. I thought the defense played better.”
Detractors will say the Raiders defense looked better against a moribund Jaguars attack ranked low in scoring, total offense and rushing yards. That unit can only play the next opponent on the schedule, and they looked better than in recent weeks in key areas where the Raiders struggled in recent weeks.
They didn’t leave Jacksonville acting like every problem has been fixed. “We came out and played aggressive football on defense,” edge rusher Bruce Irvin said. “Guys were in their gaps, communicated and it really showed today.”
“It’s a step. It wasn’t perfect,” Amerson said. “There are definitely things we can work on and improve, but we moved in the right direction. We got the win and we limited their offense from what they wanted to do. It’s something we can grow from.”
SANTA CLARA – The 49ers lost three defensive starters due to injuries in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium.
Defensive lineman Arik Armstead (shoulder), rookie cornerback Rashard Robinson (knee) and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (ankle) were forced out of the game due to injuries.
Armstead’s condition appeared to be an aggravation of a left shoulder injury he has been managing since training camp. Armstead did not play in any of the 49ers’ four exhibition games due to the injury. He said the undisclosed condition might force him to have surgery at the end of the season.
Robinson made his fourth consecutive start. He and Lynch left the game on back-to-back plays. Robinson sustained a left knee injury, while Lynch exited with a left ankle injury.
The 49ers will return to action on Nov. 6 against the New Orleans Saints after the bye week.