In Major League Baseball playoff action on Saturday, the San Francisco Giants won a marathon game over the Washington Nationals, and the Los Angeles Dodgers tied up their series with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Giants Win in 18 Innings over Washington Nationals, 2-1
It took the equivalent of two full games, but in the end, the San Francisco Giants took a 2-0 series lead against the Washington Nationals after a 2-1 win in extra innings. The Nats’ loss now puts the team at the brink of elimination as San Francisco will look to advance to the NLCS in Game 3.
Trailing 1-0, the Giants tied the game in the top of the ninth inning on a Pablo Sandoval double that scored Joe Panik. It was Sandoval’s only hit of the night in seven at bats, but it’s safe to say that it was a big one. Along with Sandoval’s hit, the other key piece of offense was Brandon Belt‘s dramatic home run in the top of the 18th to give the team the 2-1 lead and eventual win.
Speaking of Cabrera, his night was cut short after a 10th inning ejection for arguing a called third strike. Manager Matt Williams joined him for arguing the cause as well and the pair ended up missing eight more innings of action.
Both teams got dominant performances from pitchers Tim Hudson and Jordan Zimmerman. After throwing a no-hitter in the regular season finale for Washington, Zimmerman had another nearly perfect game, giving up only three hits and one run – the Sandoval RBI in the ninth. Hudson’s outing was nearly as dominant, as he gave up only one run on seven hits.
San Francisco has to be the favorite to close things out and it might come as early as Game 3 at home. The Giants will start ace Madison Bumgarner after his dominant performance against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Wild Card game opposite the Nationals Doug Fister.
Matt Kemp Home Run Propels Dodgers Over Cardinals, 3-2
After the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bullpen blew a late lead, Matt Kemp took it upon himself to get it back.
Kemp’s eighth-inning home run propelled the Dodgers to a 3-2 Game 2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. The victory tied the series at a game apiece.
With a 2-0 lead, starting pitcher Zack Greinke exited the game after seven strong innings. J.P. Howell came into the game in the top of the eighth and promptly ran into trouble, giving up a game-tying two-run home run to Matt Carpenter. Brandon League closed out the inning, relieving Howell, but the damage had been done.
Kemp, who has had a tumultuous time in Los Angeles this season and was the subject of trade rumors, played hero in the bottom of the inning with his solo home run. That gave the team the lead and was the game winner after a save by Kenley Jansen.
Cardinals’ starter Lance Lynn was good (six innings with two earned runs), but Greinke was nearly perfect. The Dodgers’ pitcher gave up only two hits through seven innings of scoreless work. The Carpenter home run prevented him from getting a well-deserved win. In addition, as good as Greinke was on the mound, he was just as good at the plate. The pitcher helped his own cause with two hits and even scored a run.
The series now moves to St. Louis for Game 3 where the Cardinals’ John Lackey will face Los Angeles pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu.
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