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 DETROIT (AP) - Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer and San Francisco righty Matt Cain didn't need to know the outcome of Saturday's World Series game to understand that when they take the mound Sunday the stakes will be high.
Both starters couldn't wait to take advantage of an opportunity to give their team a much-needed - or must-have victory - on Sunday night in Game 4.
``I absolutely relish it,'' Scherzer said. ``This is the start of a lifetime to be able to pitch in the World Series.''
The Giants took a 2-0 lead in the seven-game series into Game 3 on Saturday night.
``You try to trick yourself into thinking it's another game, but you know what's going on,'' Cain said. ``Your mind and your body, they know what's going on. They know it's going to be a big game in the World Series, whether we're up 3-0 or 2-1.''
Both teams probably like their chances with the starters they'll have in the game.
Scherzer, who was 16-7 in the regular season with 231 strikeouts that trailed only teammate Justin Verlander's baseball-leading total, is 0-1 with an 0.82 ERA this postseason.
He was on pace for a victory in Game 4 of the AL division series against the Oakland Athletics until Jose Valverde blew the lead in the ninth inning. Scherzer allowed one run in 5 2-3 innings of Detroit's AL pennant-clinching win over the New York Yankees.
By starting on Sunday, Scherzer will have pitched Game 4 of all three postseason series.
Cain, meanwhile, hasn't been quite as sharp in the playoffs as he was during the regular season.
He is 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA in the postseason after throwing a perfect game in June and going 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA for the season.
Cain pitched 5 2-3 scoreless innings and drove in a run to help San Francisco beat St. Louis in Game 7 of the NLCS after giving up three runs in each of his first three postseason starts.
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CROWING ACHIEVEMENT: Bud Selig presented Miguel Cabrera with an actual crown Saturday, recognizing the Triple Crown he won this season, and announced that the Tigers slugger won the AL's Hank Aaron Award.
For the first time, both winners of the award that recognizes the top offensive players in each league were getting ready to play in the same World Series.
After Cabrera posed for pictures and made a statement, he went to get ready for Game 3. Moments later, Giants catcher Buster Posey was honored for being the NL's Hank Aaron Award winner.
``Miguel joined historic company this year by winning the game's first Triple Crown in 45 years,'' Selig said. ``And, Buster was a consistent force in returning to the field triumphantly this year.''
Cabrera is the first player to lead baseball in batting average, home runs and RBIs since 1967 when Boston's Carl Yastrzemski pulled off the feat.
``I am very nervous right now,'' Cabrera said after waiting for more than 10 minutes for Selig to arrive at the pregame news conference. ``But I want to thank you very much. It's an honor to be sitting here with a Hall of Famer and commissioner.''
Posey hit .336 and became the first catcher in the league win the batting title since Ernie Lombardi of the Boston Braves in 1942.
``I'm humbled that Hank Aaron knows who I am,'' Posey said. ``Growing up in Georgia, he's a legend.''
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BRRRRRRRRRRRR: With the temperature still hovering at about 50 degrees during batting practice, most of the players on both teams were dressed normally while getting in their swings. It was only going to get colder.
A few players, mostly on the Giants, wore ski caps in the cage. And ninety minutes before the first pitch, neither team had deployed the giant heaters common at Comerica Park in April and October.
Lola Less, a 19-year-old Northwestern student from San Francisco, was sporting a winter cap with North Face jacket as she prepared to endure the elements in the stands.
``It's in the 70s right now at home,'' Less said. ``I can't remember a Giants game this cold, but living in Chicago, we're getting used to it.''
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Follow Larry Lage on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/larrylage
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