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 2
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.
- BYU basketball: NBA draft insiders weigh in...
- Live streams: 5A & 4A state baseball tournament
- Morning links: SI features Frank Jackson;...
- Doug Robinson: BYU football may be better...
- Point guard was weak spot in '14-'15, but...
- Utah Jazz: Ranking the best No. 12 picks in...
- BYU baseball team confident entering West...
- The Clean Cut: NBA star's 2-year-old daughter...
- Doug Robinson: BYU football may be... 112
- Mike Sorensen: Utah, BYU not getting a... 86
- Guest commentary: Want national... 65
- Utah Utes coaches tailor weekly... 54
- BYU's Taysom Hill, Utah's Devontae... 41
- Morning links: BYU has a shot to snap... 37
- Ranking the best quarterbacks in... 18
- Dick Harmon: Who's going to follow... 16