Lincecum gets win as Giants tie series
Angel Pagan connects on the second pitch of the game. A Giants team that finished last in homers goes on to hit three. Tim Lincecum pitches like...
San Francisco @ Cincinnati, 10 a.m., TBS
CINCINNATI — Angel Pagan connects on the second pitch of the game. A Giants team that finished last in homers goes on to hit three. Tim Lincecum pitches like a two-time Cy Young winner — this time, out of the bullpen.
So many unusual things moved San Francisco to the verge of an unprecedented comeback.
Pagan hit the first leadoff homer in Giants postseason history, and Gregor Blanco and Pablo Sandoval connected later for an 8-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday that evened their NL Division Series at 2-all.
No team has recovered from a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-five series by winning three on the road. This one can do it with a victory Thursday at Great American Ball Park.
"Thanks to the win today, there will be a tomorrow," Pagan said. "And we are ready for that."
Matt Cain, who lost the series opener and has yet to beat the Reds in three tries this season, will start Game 5 against Mat Latos.
Facing elimination, the Giants' slumping hitters came out swinging and extended Cincinnati's playoff misery. The Reds haven't won a postseason game at home in 17 years. One thing in the Reds' favor — they haven't dropped three straight at home all season.
"I'd like to think that we still have the advantage," Reds outfielder Jay Bruce said.
The Giants were down after losing the first two games at home while getting outscored 14-2. The pressure pulled them closer. Hunter Pence challenged them to play like champions.
"We feel good," NL batting champion Buster Posey said. "When you're down 0-2, you see what you're made of. We're not done."
It wasn't all about the offense. San Francisco's overlooked Cy Young winner played a starring role, too.
Lincecum, the former Huskies star, was relegated to the bullpen for the playoff series because of his dreary season — 15 losses, 17 wild pitches. He entered in the fourth inning, pitched out of a threat that kept the Giants up 3-2, and kept going. The right-hander struck out six while allowing just one run in 4-1/3 innings.
"The last two games, it's been about scratching and leaving it on the field," Lincecum said.
|San Francisco||120 020 300||—||8||11||1|
|Cincinnati||101 001 000||—||3||9||0|
E — Lincecum (1). LOB — San Francisco 5, Cincinnati 10. 2B — Pagan (1), Scutaro (1), Sandoval (2), Arias 2 (2), Stubbs (1). HR — Pagan (1), off Leake; G.Blanco (1), off Leake; Sandoval (1), off Arredondo; Ludwick (2), off Zito. RBI — Pagan 2 (3), Scutaro (1), Sandoval 3 (3), G.Blanco 2 (2), B.Phillips (5), Ludwick (2), Frazier (1). CS — Pagan (1). S — Scutaro. SF — Sandoval, B.Phillips. Runners left in scoring position — San Francisco 2; Cincinnati 6. DP — Cincinnati 2.
|Lincecum W, 1-0||4-1/3||2||1||1||0||6||1.42|
|Leake L, 0-1||4-1/3||6||5||5||2||1||10.38|
Pitches — Zito 76, Kontos 9, Mijares 5, Lincecum 55, S.Casilla 25, Leake 71, LeCure 20, Arredondo 19, Hoover 15, Simon 22. Inherited runners-scored — Kontos 1-0, Mijares 2-0, Lincecum 2-0, LeCure 1-1, Hoover 1-0. T — 3:35. A — 44,375.