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Giants take 2-0 lead over Tigers in Game 3

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Giants take 2-0 lead over Tigers in Game 3

DETROIT (AP) Gregor Blanco hit a run-scoring triple off the wall in right-center field in the second and scored on Brandon Crawford's single as the San Francisco Giants took a 2-0 lead over the Detroit Tigers after three innings in World Series Game 3 on Saturday night.

Having swept the first two games at home, the Giants got off to a quick start against Anibal Sanchez. No team has ever lost the first three games and rebounded to win the title.

Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, following lefties Barry Zito and Madison Bumgarner, allowed three hits in the first three innings and induced two inning-ending, double-play grounders.

While Detroit never trailed during its AL championship series sweep of the New York Yankees, the Tigers have not led in the World Series.

Vogelsong, 2-0 with 1.42 ERA in three postseason starts, has traveled through 10 minor league cities plus two in Japan over the last 15 years, also making winter ball stops at the Arizona Fall League and Venezuela. In between, the 35-year-old has gone 37-38 during parts of eight seasons with the Giants and Pittsburgh.

Sanchez, acquired from Miami in July, showed rust from his 12-day layoff. He walked Hunter Pence on four pitches starting the second. One out later, Blanco pulled a full-count pitch off an advertising board on the fence.

Detroit pulled the infield in - manager Jim Leyland was criticized by some for leaving his middle infielders back with Game 2 scoreless in the seventh - and Hector Sanchez struck out. Brandon Crawford, the No. 9 hitter, lofted a single to short center that Austin Jackson overran for an error.

With the crowd quieted and the Tigers' infielders looking dismayed, Sanchez retired Angel Pagan on an inning-ending grounder to first.

Sanchez allowed three hits in the first three innings, struck out four and walked one, throwing 62 pitches - 31 in the second.

San Francisco, seeking its second title in three years, is brimming with confidence. The Giants entered 8-1 in the postseason when scoring first.

Detroit was 26-25 when facing left-handed starters during the season and 62-49 against righties, according to STATS LLC. The Tigers entered 4-0 at home in the postseason and threatened in the first against Vogelsong.

Quintin Berry walked with one out. Miguel Cabrera, presented with a dark blue and gold crown by Major League Baseball before the game in honor of his Triple Crown, singled to left. But Prince Fielder bounced into a 4-6-3 double play, dropping to 0 for 5 with runners on in the series and 1 for 19 versus righties in the postseason.

Omar Infante hit a broken-bat single with one out in the third and Jackson reached on an infield hit, beating Pablo Sandoval's throw on a four-hopper to third. Berry hit into a 4-6-3 double play on the next pitch.

With the shift to the AL ballpark, Giants manager Bruce Bochy inserted Hector Sanchez as his designated hitter in the No, 8 slot and dropped Crawford to ninth.

Alternating catchers, the Tigers went with Game 1 starter Alex Avila in place of Gerald Laird and made two switches in the outfield. Berry started in left, with Delmon Young moving to DH, and Andy Dirks replaced Avisail Garcia in right.

The gametime temperature of 47 was a 17-degree drop from Game 2. The Tigers' starters wore long sleeves and the Giants' regulars a mixture of long and three-quarters, with only Vogelsong in short sleeves. Four of the six umpires wore gloves, with plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth and Brian O'Nora at first going with bare hands.

Matt Cain, coming off a Game 7 win over St. Louis in the NL championship series, starts for San Francisco in Game 4 on Sunday night. Max Scherzer starts for Detroit, his first appearance since completing the Tigers' ALCS sweep of the Yankees.

NOTES: Sandoval singled in the first and grounded out in the third, leaving him 6 for 9 in the Series. ... Cabrera has reached safely in his first 23 postseason games, two shy of Boog Powell's record, according to STATS LLC. ... Zooey Deschanel, who sang ``The Star-Spangled Banner'' before Game 4 last year, became only the second person in a decade to perform the national anthem before Series games in consecutive years. John Legend sang it before Game 2 in 2009 and the 2010 opener.

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

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Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

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Twitter/City of Las Vegas

Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

The Washington Capitals official #ALLCAPS hashtag started in 2017 during a Caps-Penguins game after the Pittsburgh Penguins' official Twitter account decided to tweet in all lowercase letters during the game. 

Now, as the Caps look to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final ahead of Game 1 Monday, Vegas has followed suit by changing their iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to include only lowercase letters, a jab at the Capitals #ALLCAPS.

Additionally, the City's official Twitter account has changed their handle to "the city of las vegas" without any capital letters and the hashtag #nocaps.

It will be interesting to see how the Capitals' official Twitter will respond...

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