DETROIT (AP) - They entered the World Series a collection of stars rivaling any team in baseball.
Then one by one, Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera fell short in the season's final test.
It ended with Cabrera at the plate, watching the third strike that finished Detroit's season. So close to their first championship since 1984, the Tigers were vanquished in a sweep few saw coming, losing four straight to the San Francisco Giants.
The San Francisco Giants celebrate defeating the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday.
The finale was 4-3 in 10 innings. Cabrera homered in Game 4 on Sunday night, but Fielder's struggles persisted, and Verlander never had another chance to pitch after he was knocked around in Game 1.
"You remember this feeling all winter, and it makes you want to come back and try this again," Verlander said. "I've lost twice, and it doesn't get easier. It gets harder. I don't want to do this a third time."
Detroit lost in five games to St. Louis in the 2006 World Series. This showing was even worse.
In both years, the Tigers won the AL championship series in a sweep, then looked out of sorts in the Fall Classic. Detroit was shut out by the Giants in Games 2 and 3, and lost Sunday despite Cabrera's two-run homer in the third inning.
It was Cabrera's popup that wasted Detroit's best chance in Game 3 - and the Triple Crown winner made the last out of the series, striking out looking to end the 10th on Sunday.
"We could not find our game in the World Series," Cabrera said. "We were looking in the whole series to get ahead, but they pitched good, they pitched great and they beat us."
Cabrera was 3 for 13 and Prince Fielder was 1 for 14.
"It is unfortunate, but we played as hard as we could. Losing to the World Series champions isn't too bad," Fielder said. "We played good baseball, but they just beat us. We had a great season to get to the playoffs, and we played well to get to the World Series. You just don't get to write your own script."