Giants starter Barry Zito was the unlikely starter in Wednesday's Game 1 of the World Series, especially facing Tigers ace Justin Verlander, the defending American League Cy Young Award winner and most valuable player.

But Zito was thrust into the role because the Giants' pitching rotation was thrown askew by the seven-game National League Championship Series, in which he had a critical victory in Game 5 against the Cardinals.

Since coming to the Bay in 2007, the left-hander has struggled in his previous five seasons, with losing records each year. But Zito, who has had a tumultuous time in San Francisco, responded with another good outing, getting the win after going 5 2/3 innings and giving up just one run on six hits with three strikeouts. Most importantly, the Giants got the win — the 14th straight time they have won a game that Zito started.

"He just did a nice job again with keeping them off balance and giving them different looks, throwing the fastball and cutter in in the right situations and also throwing it away as well," catcher Buster Posey said. "The fastball command is a lot better, the cutter's been a big pitch for him — we'll throw that in off the plate and also back door. All in all, everything's crisper and he's got a great game plan going out there every time."

In the first inning Zito got out of a jam with runners on first and second and one out. He got Prince Fielder to pop out to left field and Delmon Young to ground into a fielder's choice to end the threat. He didn't face trouble again until the sixth, when Austin Jackson doubled and Miguel Cabrera hit an RBI single. Young added a single, putting two runners on again, which spelled the end of the night for Zito.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121025/SPORTS0104/210250403#ixzz2AJl3A11K