ARLINGTON, Texas -- From the most unexpected of places, the San Francisco Giants struck to seize firm command of this World Series.
Rookie starter Madison Bumgarner?
Heck no. That kid, just 21, has been pitching like a veteran since making his big-league debut in late June.
No. Where the lightening came from in the Giants' 4-0 antler-busting Game 4 World Series win was ... drum roll, please ... from Fort Worth-native Aubrey Huff, who was ensconced in the lineup as manager Bruce Bochy's designated hitter.
Imagine, a National League club marching into an AL yard and flexing its DH muscle. Huff cranked a two-run homer in the third inning, smashing a cutter from Rangers starter Tommy Hunter deep into the Texas night to deliver the Giants a 2-0 lead.
The blast immediately interrupted the Rangers' hard-earned momentum from Game 3 a night earlier. It gave the Giants an early lead that allowed Bumgarner to pitch relaxed with some wiggle room. And it returned the swagger to a club that momentarily was knocked off course, however briefly, on Saturday night.
The game stayed 2-0 until the Giants scratched another run across in the seventh, then it went to 4-0 when Buster Posey, the other half of the first rookie battery to start a World Series game since Yankees right-hander Spec Shea and catcher Yogi Berra in Game 1 in 1947, blasted a Darren O'Day breaking ball over the center-field fence.
But Huff's homer was all the Giants would need. Talk about the Giants Huff-ing and puffing and staring people down in the wake of their ongoing DH struggles. In interleague play this year -- six games in AL parks -- San Francisco DH's combined to go 2-for-22 with just one homer and two RBI.
In Game 3 here, a flat 4-2 loss for the Giants, their DH, Pablo Sandoval, went 0-for-3. Buried within that was a grounded-into-double-play and a strikeout.
Huff's swing kick-started the Giants back to life, and put them in the best position yet to win their first World Series since moving to San Francisco in 1958.
How good is their position? Teams that have taken a 3-1 lead are 37-5 in World Series play.