CINCINNATI — Facing elimination again, the San Francisco Giants came out swinging. Got a saving relief appearance from Tim Lincecum, too.
Angel Pagan led off the game with a home run, Gregor Blanco and Pablo Sandoval connected later and the Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-3 on Wednesday, evening their NL division series at 2-all.
Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young winner relegated to the bullpen, also delivered. He entered in the fourth with the Giants ahead 3-2, struck out six while giving up just one run in 41?3 innings, and allowed his team to pull away.
"I knew he would play a huge role in this," manager Bruce Bochy said. "And I know of other situations where starters have been in the 'pen and really done a great job to help their team win. We knew Timmy would play a critical role in the series like he did tonight."
The Giants can complete an unprecedented comeback on Thursday. No team has recovered from a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-five series by winning three on the road, according to STATS LLC.
"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.
The Giants' hitters emerged from a series-long slump 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. "We're at home. I expect Mat to come up with a big game. I'm looking forward to it."
Cincinnati - San Fran.
NL Division Series (best of 5)
Series tied, 2-2
Game 1: Reds 5, Giants 2Comment on this story
Game 2: Reds 9, Giants 0
Game 3: Giants 2, Reds 1
Game 4: Giants 8, Reds 3
Game 5: Today at Cincinnati, 11 a.m.