The Baltimore Orioles won 2-1 in 13 innings to force a decider against the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 to become the first National League team to win a best-of-five Major League Baseball division series after losing the first two games.
Buster Posey’s grand slam capped a six-run fifth inning for the Giants, who lost two games at home before sweeping three in Cincinnati. All five games in the series were won by the visiting team, also an NL first.
“We’ve got a bunch of fighters, I don’t think anybody gave up,” Posey said in a television interview. “We didn’t make it easy on ourselves, that’s for sure.”
The Giants will play the defending-champion St. Louis Cardinals or the Washington Nationals for a spot in the World Series. The Nationals forced a decisive Game 5 later today in Washington with a 2-1 home win against the Cardinals last night as Jayson Werth hit a game-ending home run in the ninth inning to tie the series.
“I felt pretty good going in there,” Werth said in a televised interview. “I was sure. We’ve been doing it all year. We’ve got a great club.”
In the American League, the Yankees and Orioles will meet again this afternoon in New York to determine which team will face the Detroit Tigers or the Oakland Athletics for a place in the World Series. The Tigers are playing at the Athletics in the decisive Game 5 of their division series.
The A’s, who scored three runs in the ninth inning two nights ago for a 4-3 win, are trying to become the fifth AL team to win a division series after dropping the first two games.
After four scoreless innings at Yankee Stadium, Nate McLouth hit a leadoff home run off New York starter Phil Hughes to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Derek Jeter then scored on a Robinson Cano groundout in the sixth to tie it.
Manny Machado got the 13th inning under way with a double and advanced to third on McLouth’s groundout before scoring on J.J. Hardy’s double to seal the win for Baltimore.
The Yankees are 11-4 favorites to win the World Series, according to the Las Vegas Hotel’s Super Book, with the Cardinals at 9-2.
The Giants-Reds game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati was scoreless until the fifth inning, when Brandon Crawford had a run-scoring triple and scored on an error before Posey’s bases-clearing home run.
The Reds got a two-run double from Brandon Phillips in the fifth, a solo home run from Ryan Ludwick in the sixth inning and a run-scoring single by Ludwick in the ninth.
The Nationals became the first Washington team to reach the playoffs since 1933 by finishing the regular season with a major league-best 98-64 record, 10 wins better than the Cardinals, who reached the NL Division Series by beating the Atlanta Braves in the wild-card game.
Washington took a 1-0 lead in the second inning at Nationals Park on a solo home run by Adam LaRoche. The Cardinals tied it in the third on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Beltran that scored Pete Kozma.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth inning, when Werth hit a leadoff home run on the 13th pitch of his at-bat to seal the win for the Nationals. It was the 14th career postseason home run for Werth.