National League Game Summary - San Francisco at Cincinnati|
(Wednesday, October 10th)
Final Score: San Francisco 8, Cincinnati 3
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - It's been 17 years since the Cincinnati Reds
won either a playoff series or a postseason game at home.
The wait goes on.
Behind a big effort in relief from Tim Lincecum and an offensive power surge,
the San Francisco Giants put Cincinnati's celebration plans on hold for a
second straight day by registering an 8-3 decision in Game 4 of the National
League Division Series, setting up a winner-take-all battle for the right to
After mustering a mere four runs and batting .126 over the first three games,
San Francisco broke out behind homers from Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco and
Pablo Sandoval in following up Tuesday's season-saving 2-1, 10-inning win.
Sandoval finished 3-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Giants' 11-hit outburst,
with Pagan going 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Lincecum (1-0) provided a lift as well, limiting the Reds to one run on two
hits while striking out six without a walk over 4 1/3 excellent innings.
"We knew Timmy would play a critical role in the series like he did tonight,"
said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "It's great to have. I love a man like this
who has the talent he does, and part of it was Timmy buying into what we were
doing and he said, 'I just want to do anything I can to help the ballclub
Starter Barry Zito lasted just 2 2/3 frames for San Francisco, with the
veteran lefty permitting two runs and four hits while issuing four walks.
Subbing for injured ace Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake (0-1) was tagged for five
runs on six hits before being removed after 4 1/3 innings for the Reds.
Ryan Ludwick had a solo homer and Zack Cozart went 2-for-5 for a Cincinnati
squad that's attempting to record its first playoff triumph at home since
besting the Los Angeles Dodgers at then-Riverfront Stadium in Game 3 of the
1995 NLDS, the franchise's last victorious postseason series as well.
"We've got one game to turn it around," said Reds outfielder Jay Bruce. "It's
win or go home, obviously."
The Giants will now try to become the first team in NLDS history to come back
from a two-games-to-none deficit in Thursday's Game 5 at Great American Ball
Park, with Matt Cain tabbed to start for San Francisco against the Reds' Mat
"I'm proud of how the guys have fought," said Bochy. "They have done a great
job of bouncing back and getting to tomorrow's game, which the only way that
happens is win(ning) the first two. These guys have found a way to do that."
Leake had been added to Cincinnati's roster earlier in the day, with Cueto
unavailable due to an oblique strain that knocked the 19-game winner out of
Saturday's Game 1 after only eight pitches. The young fill-in wasn't quite up
to the task in his first career postseason outing, however.
Pagan socked his second pitch of the day into the right-field stands to
quickly ignite San Francisco's previously sluggish offense, and Blanco -- who
hadn't homered since July 18 -- stepped up after Hector Sanchez's infield
single and launched a Leake fastball over the wall in right center to snap a
1-1 tie in the top of the second inning.
San Francisco would maintain a lead the rest of the way, despite an erratic
Zito's early exit and a couple of attempts by the Reds to move in front.
Ludwick's solo homer to begin the bottom of the third brought Cincinnati
within 3-2, and the Reds put forth a threat an inning later when singles by
Leake and Cozart against reliever George Kontos put two men on with one out.
However, Jose Mijares came on to strike out Cincy slugger Joey Votto before
Lincecum entered, with the two-time NL Cy Young winner proceeding to fan
Ludwick to prevent any damage.
Back-to-back doubles by Joaquin Arias and Pagan to start the fifth extended
San Francisco's margin back to two runs, with Pagan coming home on Sandoval's
sacrifice fly for a 5-2 Giants' advantage.
"Three mistakes, really," said Leake of his performance. "Two of them were
home runs, one was an RBI double. Other than that, I thought I threw the ball
The Reds slightly closed the gap when Drew Stubbs doubled off Lincecum to open
the bottom of the sixth and eventually scored on a Brandon Phillips fly ball,
but San Francisco countered with three runs in the top of the seventh to put
the game out of reach.
Arias' second double of the game was later followed by Marco Scutaro's RBI
two-bagger and Sandoval's mammoth blast off Jose Arredondo that gave the
Giants a commanding 8-3 lead.
The Reds managed just two hits off Lincecum and reliever Santiago Casilla over
their final three at-bats.
After being staked to a 1-0 edge on Pagan's homer, Zito retired the first two
Cincinnati hitters before surrendering a single to Votto. He then walked
Ludwick, Jay Bruce and Jeff Frazier in succession to force in a run, but was
able to rebound and strike out Dioner Navarro looking to leave the bases
The Reds ended up stranding 10 baserunners for the game while going 0-for-7
with men in scoring position.
Since the three-round format was instituted in 1995, teams that have dropped
the first two games of the NLDS have gone on to lose the series all 21 times
... Lincecum improved to 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA in eight career postseason games
(5 starts, 3 relief appearances) ... Zito was making his first playoff start
in exactly six years, having taken the mound for Oakland in Game 1 of the ALCS
against Detroit on Oct. 10, 2006.
10/10 21:31:19 ET