Giants end 56-year wait to stand tallest

By Larry Fine

ARLINGTON, Texas (BestGrowthStock) – The San Francisco Giants were able to savor a first World Series triumph in 56 years when they beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 in Game Five of the best-of-seven Major League Baseball championship on Monday.

Shortstop Edgar Renteria stroked a three-run homer to left-center field in the seventh inning off Texas ace Cliff Lee to break up a scoreless stalemate and give a masterful Tim Lincecum his second victory of the series.

Renteria, who also homered for the first run of San Francisco’s Game Two victory, was named World Series MVP after batting .412 in the Giants’ 4-1 triumph to end a patchy season on the highest note possible.

“It was a tough year for me,” Renteria, who landed on the disabled list three times this season, told reporters. “I appreciate the organization because they have patience in me and I told myself to keep working.”

Closer Brian Wilson struck out Nelson Cruz to end the game, setting off a wild celebration as Giants players charged out of the dugout for a group hug near the mound, while the outfielders threw their gloves in the air as they rushed to join in.

The triumph marked the first Fall Classic crown for the Giants since 1954 when the franchise played in New York.

It also capped a remarkable run for a team that will take a first title home to San Francisco after falling short in the Fall Classics of 1962, 1989 and 2002 following their move to the City by the Bay after the 1957 season.

After securing a playoff berth on the last day of the regular season, the Giants beat the Atlanta Braves and then eliminated the twice defending NL champion Philadelphia Phillies to reach the World Series.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” winning manager Bruce Bochy said. “That just goes to show what a team can do that plays with heart and determination.”

LINCECUM DOMINANT

Ninety-minutes after the game, Giants players and their families were on the field after a champagne celebration in the clubhouse, parading the championship trophy to cheers from a raucous San Francisco contingent gathered behind their dugout.

The one-two punch of Lincecum and Renteria were all the Giants needed in the decisive game.

Lincecum pitched eight innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out 10. He gave up a solo home run to Cruz in the seventh inning for the Rangers’ only score.

Lee was equally brilliant through six innings, matching zeroes with Lincecum until the seventh.

Singles to center by Cody Ross and Juan Uribe began that inning and a sacrifice bunt moved them to second and third.

With the infield drawn in, Lee struck out Pat Burrell for the second out and appeared on the verge of escaping the jam.

But on a 2-0 pitch and with first base open, Lee hung a cutter up high to Renteria, who made the most of the mistake by driving the ball over the wall left of center field to clear the bases for a 3-0 lead.

“It was a classic pitchers’ duel down to that home run,” a downcast Lee said by his locker. “Nobody in this room is more disappointed than I am.”

Renteria is no stranger to World Series heroics having also delivered the winning hit for the Florida Marlins in Game Seven of the 1997 World Series.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable being in that situation,” the 35-year-old Colombian said.

The defeat put an end to the Rangers’ hopes of winning a first World Series in their 50th year as a franchise.

“I congratulate the San Francisco Giants, they are truly the world champions,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “I’m very proud of my players. They played the game with passion.”

Bochy played on a losing San Diego Padres team in the 1984 World Series and managed the Padres to a Series loss in 1998.

“This is your dream,” said former catcher Bochy. “That’s what the game is about, being in this moment right now.”

(Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by John O’Brien)

Giants end 56-year wait to stand tallest