SAN FRANCISCO -- So memorable is Gregor Blanco's season with the glove that neither of his spectacular catches in Game 1 of the World Series could crack his personal top spot.

"Oh, I think the perfect game was the best," Blanco said after the Giants' 8-3 victory Wednesday.

Still, these weren't too shabby. The left fielder robbed Miguel Cabrera in the third inning and Prince Fielder in the sixth, each time making a sensational diving grab of a sinking liner to keep the Tigers from getting rolling.

There are a few skid marks in the AT&T Park left-field turf to prove it.

"Just incredible," said Giants starter Barry Zito, who was on the mound for both catches.

The two gems continued the Giants' trend of eye-popping outfield defense during the postseason, even though nothing has matched the one Blanco made to preserve Matt Cain's place in history on June 13.

"That one catch he made in Cain's perfect game we'll always remember," manager Bruce Bochy said. "But he's done that all year. He's made great plays out there. He gets a good jump on the ball and throws well. He's just a gifted outfielder."

In the third inning of Game 1, with two out and speedster Austin Jackson on first base, Cabrera blasted a low liner to left field. That's when Blanco had a conversation in his head.

"I just said to myself, 'We cannot let them start a rally,' " Blanco recalled. "They have great hitters and if you let them get something going, their offense is going to be trouble for us."

Instead Blanco surged from a dead sprint and snatched the ball inches before it struck the turf. As Blanco knew, the ball would have rolled all the way to the wall if he had missed it.

"I always think about the risk and the situation and the hitters," he said. "The next batter up was going to be Prince. So if that ball drops right there, they can start a rally."

Fielder suffered a similar fate in the sixth. Cabrera was at first after a run-scoring single. The Tigers, down 6-1 with more big boppers coming up, had thoughts of a big inning. But when Fielder smashed a searing drive to left, he hit it toward the wrong guy.

"The ball that Prince hit had some funky spin on it, and that's what made the catch so impressive," Zito said. "Not only did he dive, but he had to stay with the path of that ball.

"Blanco is just -- he's such a huge part of this team in every way."

Blanco is still too often known as the man who replaced suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera. But he's finding a way to make his own imprint -- whether it's in the box score or in the turf.

"I know every day I have to contribute with my glove or with my bat," he said. "Today was my glove."