Giants, A's extend division series to limit
CINCINNATI - Angel Pagan led off the game with a home run, Gregor Blanco and Pablo Sandoval connected later and Tim Lincecum came out of the bullpen to help the San Francisco Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-3 on Wednesday, evening their NL division series at 2-all.
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.
Matt Cain, who lost the series opener and has yet to beat Cincinnati in three starts this season, will start Game 5 against Mat Latos.
The Reds haven't won a home playoff game in 17 years. One thing in Cincinnati's favor - it hasn't dropped three straight at home all season.
WASHINGTON - Chris Carpenter, making just his fourth start of the season, pitched 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball, and the St. Louis bullpen completed the shut down of the Washington Nationals as the Cardinals took a 2-1 lead in the other NLDS with an 8-0 win Wednesday afternoon.
Shortstop Pete Kozma hit a three-run home run off former Cardinal Edwin Jackson in the second inning, giving St. Louis a 4-0 lead.
The Cardinals will look to close out the Nationals by sending Kyle Lohse to the mound against Ross Detwiler in Game 4 Thursday.
Both American League Division Series games on Thursday ended with walk-off victories for the home teams.
NEW YORK - The Yankees are one game away from eliminating the Baltimore Orioles and moving onto the American League Championship Series. Raul Ibanez had a big hand in that. The 40-year-old veteran connected for a game-tying home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth and then a walkoff homer that ended the Yanks' 3-2 win over the Orioles in 12 innings.
Ibanez entered the game pinch-hitting for Alex Rodriguez, and manager Joe Girardi's strategy paid off. The game-tying homer came off Jim Johnson, the major league leader with 51 saves in the regular season. He then connected for his game-winner off Brian Matusz to send Yankee Stadium into delirium.
Coming in, the Orioles were 76-0 this year when leading after seven innings. They had also won 16 extra-inning games. Ryan Flaherty and 20-year-old rookie Manny Machedo hit solo homers off Hiroki Kurodafor the Orioles.
Game four is Thursday in Yankee Stadium. Either Joe Saunders or Chris Tillman will go for the Orioles against Yankee 16-game winner Phil Hughes.
In Oakland, the Athletics produced their 15th walkoff victory of the season by rallying with three runs in the bottom of the ninth to edge the Detroit Tigers 4-3 to even their AL Division Series at two games apiece.
The Tigers entered the bottom of the ninth with a two-run lead and their ace closer Jose Valverde on the mound. But Seth Smith tied the game with a two-run double. Coco Crisp then delivered the game-winning single to climax the three-run rally.
This AL Division Series will be decided Thursday night when the Tigers send out their ace 17-game winner Justin Verlander to try and halt their two-game losing streak.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)