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The minors are long behind him, and so is the silence at the end of some starts in Japan. The San Francisco sunsets have held some of his most shining moments, with fans chanting “Vogey! Vogey!” louder than they ever had in his Game 6 victory in the NL championship series against St. Louis starting in the California twilight.

“He pitches with conviction,” reliever Jeremy Affeldt said.

Vogelsong earned All-Star honors last season and was the NL ERA leader as late as Aug. 12 at 2.27 this year. His last 10 regular-season starts lifted that figure to 3.37, but just like Vogelsong had so many times before, he rallied.

Vogelsong became the first Giants starter to complete at least six innings this postseason when he allowed four hits over seven innings in a 7-1 victory in Game 2 of the NL championship series against St. Louis. Then he struck out a career-best nine on his biggest stage yet, allowing only four hits and one run in San Francisco’s 6-1 win in Game 6.

“He’s throwing the ball as well as anybody on the staff,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who had no problem putting Vogelsong in line for a Game 7 start.

With San Francisco winning 8-3 and 2-0 in the first two games, Vogelsong has a chance to help end the series far sooner.

He earned himself a shot to be the latest Giants pitcher to shut down Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, slugger Prince Fielder and the hard-hitting Tigers.

“It’s great to be here with everything I’ve been through, but I’ve got to pitch my next game,” Vogelsong said. “The two starts before really mean nothing right now. It’s about pitching the game on Saturday.”

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Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP