San Francisco at Cincinnati

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San Francisco (1-2) «0010000001230
Cincinnati (2-1)1000000000141

Giants capitalize on Rolen's error in 10th to beat Reds, force a Game 4

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Joaquin Arias hit a grounder toward third base and took off toward third, covering those 90 feet in a blink as a full-to-capacity ballpark went silent with angst.

Which would get there first, the infielder or the ball? Who would win the decisive playoff dash?

"That's the fastest I've ever run to first," Arias said.

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Fast enough to extend the San Francisco Giants' season one more day.

Reds third baseman Scott Rolen bobbled the short-hop, giving Arias enough time to beat the throw as the go-ahead run scored for a 2-1 victory Tuesday night that avoided an NL division series sweep.

Hardly able to get a hit the last two games, the Giants turned a passed ball and a misplayed grounder into a win that cut their series deficit to 2-1 and extended Cincinnati's 17 years of home postseason futility.

"These are the type of games we've played all season long," said Sergio Romo, who pitched the last two innings for the win. "We are a gritty and grinding team."

And, with their season on the line, a little lucky, too.

"We got a break there at the end," manager Bruce Bochy said.

Left-hander Barry Zito will pitch Game 4 on Wednesday for the Giants, who have won the last 11 times he started. The Reds have to decide whether to try ace Johnny Cueto, forced out of the opener in San Francisco on Saturday with spasms in his back and side.

Manager Dusty Baker said after the game that they hadn't decided whether to let Cueto try it, bring back Mat Latos on short rest again, or replace Cueto with Mike Leake, who wasn't on the division series roster.

Switching out Cueto would leave the Reds ace ineligible to pitch in the championship series should the Reds get that far.

"It's very difficult, but it all depends on if your ace can't go or whatever it is," Baker said. "That's part of the conversation -- us going without him. We realize what's at stake."

They were hoping to avoid having to make that choice. One grounder forced the issue.

The Giants managed only three hits against Homer Bailey and the Reds bullpen, but got two of them in the 10th -- along with a passed ball by Ryan Hanigan -- to pull it out. San Francisco won despite striking out 16 times.

Rolen, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, couldn't cleanly come up with Arias' grounder, which put him in a tough position.

"I've gone through the play many times in my mind between then and now, and I think I would play it the same way," Rolen said. "It hit my glove. I just couldn't get it to stick."

The Reds haven't won a home playoff game since 1995, the last time they reached the NL championship series. One win away from making it back there, they couldn't beat a Giants team that has barely been able to get a hit.

San Francisco got only two hits while losing 9-0 on Sunday night, setting up that 2-0 deficit in the series. The Giants had only one single in seven innings off Bailey, making his first start at Great American Ball Park since his Sept. 28 no-hitter in Pittsburgh.

Fortunately for the Giants, Bailey's one lapse led to a run. He hit a batter, walked another and gave up a sacrifice fly by Angel Pagan in the third inning.

That was it until the 10th, with the Giants going down swinging -- the Reds set a season high with 16 strikeouts. Closer Aroldis Chapman got a pair of strikeouts on 100 mph fastballs during a perfect ninth inning, keeping it tied at 1.

San Francisco's one-hit wonders finally got it going against Jonathan Broxton, who gave up leadoff singles by Buster Posey -- the NL batting champion -- and Hunter Pence, who pulled his left calf on a wild swing before getting his hit.

With two outs, Hanigan couldn't come up with a pitch, letting the runners advance. Moments later, Cincinnati's chance for a sweep was over.

Instead, a Reds team that lost a lot -- closer Ryan Madson in spring training, top hitter Joey Votto for six weeks at midseason, Baker for the NL Central clincher, Cueto in the first inning of the first playoff game -- ended up with another playoff loss at home.

Baker was back in the home dugout at Great American for the first time in nearly a month, recovered from an irregular heartbeat and a mini-stroke. After a pregame ovation, he settled in his red folding chair with a toothpick on his lips.

The 63-year-old manager watched his pitching staff dominate again, but fail to get that breakthrough win. This time, the offense came up short, getting only four hits.

Cincinnati hasn't won a home playoff game since beating the Dodgers 10-1 at Riverfront Stadium for a three-game division sweep in the 1995 NLDS. They then got swept by Atlanta.

They didn't get back to the playoffs again until 2010, when they got no-hit by Roy Halladay and swept by the Phillies in the opening round.

The second-largest crowd in Great American history was still getting the hang of playoff rooting. A video board message instructed the 44,501 fans not to wave white rally towels while the Reds were in the field -- could be distracting.

Didn't take long to get those towels twirling. Brandon Phillips led off with a single, but was thrown out at third when he tried to advance on a ball that got away from Posey. It was costly -- the Reds went on to score on a walk and a pair of singles, including Jay Bruce's RBI hit to right.

The Reds got only one more hit the rest of the way.

Notes

  • The game started 3 minutes late because a sign-waving fan ran onto the field. He was tackled by police in center field.
  • Giants avoided their third playoff sweep in franchise history.
  • The Giants haven't lost three in a row since they dropped five straight from July 25-30.
  • Tom Browning, who pitched the Reds' previous no-hitter -- a perfect game against the Dodgers in 1988 -- threw the ceremonial pitch.
  • Bailey fanned six in a row, matching the Reds' postseason record.
  • The only larger crowd at GABP was for the 2010 playoff game against Philadelphia.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Sergio Romo pitches a perfect ninth and 10th inning to earn the win and keep the Giants' season alive.  (US Presswire)
Sergio Romo pitches a perfect ninth and 10th inning to earn the win and keep the Giants' season alive. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

H. Bailey
IP 7.0
H 1
ER 1
BB 1
K 10
San Francisco

R. Vogelsong
IP 5.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 3
K 5
 

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San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Angel Pagan, CF3001010 .083
Marco Scutaro, 2B4010001 .083
Pablo Sandoval, 3B4000021 .154
Buster Posey, C4110020 .273
Hunter Pence, RF4010020 .083
Brandon Belt, 1B4000032 .111
Gregor Blanco, LF1100010 .333
   a- Xavier Nady, PH-LF2000022 .000
Brandon Crawford, SS1000110 .000
   b- Joaquin Arias, PH-SS2000000 .333
Ryan Vogelsong, P0000000 .000
   c- Aubrey Huff, PH1000010 .000
    Jeremy Affeldt, P0000000 .000
   d- Ryan Theriot, PH1000000 .000
    Santiago Casilla, P0000000 .000
    Javier Lopez, P0000000 .000
    Sergio Romo, P1000012 .000
Totals32231116  
a-struck out for Blanco in the 8th
b-lined out for Crawford in the 8th
c-struck out for Vogelsong in the 6th
d-grounded out for Affeldt in the 8th
Batting
SF - Angel Pagan (1)
SH - Ryan Vogelsong (1)
RBI - Angel Pagan (1)
Team LOB - 4
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ryan Vogelsong 5311350 1.80
Jeremy Affeldt 2100010 0.00
Santiago Casilla 0.2000110 4.50
Javier Lopez 0.1000000 0.00
Sergio Romo (W,1-0) 2000000 0.00
HBP - Bruce (by Jeremy Affeldt)
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Vogelsong 95-55, Jeremy Affeldt 22-14, Santiago Casilla 19-9, Javier Lopez 1-1, Sergio Romo 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Vogelsong 3-6, Jeremy Affeldt 5-0, Sergio Romo 2-4
Batters Faced - Ryan Vogelsong 20, Jeremy Affeldt 8, Santiago Casilla 3, Javier Lopez 1, Sergio Romo 6
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brandon Phillips, 2B5010020 .400
Zack Cozart, SS4100110 .167
Joey Votto, 1B2000201 .333
Ryan Ludwick, LF3010111 .333
Jay Bruce, RF3011003 .333
Scott Rolen, 3B4010022 .182
Ryan Hanigan, C4000002 .250
Drew Stubbs, CF4000000 .167
Homer Bailey, P2000010 .000
   a- Todd Frazier, PH1000000 .000
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
   b- Xavier Paul, PH1000000 .500
Totals3314147  
a-grounded out for Bailey in the 7th
b-grounded out for Broxton in the 10th
Batting
RBI - Jay Bruce (4)
2-OUT RBI - Jay Bruce (1)
SB - Brandon Phillips (1, off Vogelsong/Posey)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
PB - Ryan Hanigan (1)
E - Scott Rolen (2, Misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Homer Bailey 71111100 1.29
Sean Marshall 1000010 0.00
Aroldis Chapman 1000020 4.50
Jonathan Broxton (L,0-1) 1210030 0.00
HBP - Blanco (by Homer Bailey)
Pitches-Strikes - Homer Bailey 88-60, Sean Marshall 10-7, Aroldis Chapman 15-9, Jonathan Broxton 24-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Homer Bailey 4-7, Sean Marshall 1-1, Jonathan Broxton 1-0
Batters Faced - Homer Bailey 24, Sean Marshall 3, Aroldis Chapman 3, Jonathan Broxton 6
Game Information
Attendance - 44501
Game Time - 3:41
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Chad Fairchild