CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Reds left their offense in San Francisco as they couldn't back up some great starting pitching, losing in extra innings to the Giants 2-1.
The Giants scored in the top of the 10th when a ground ball by Joaquin Arias ate up Scott Rolen, and his throw to first wasn't in time, allowing Buster Posey to score the go-ahead run from third. The Reds couldn't answer in the bottom of the inning, being put away 1-2-3.
"That's the fastest I've ever run to first," Arias said.
The Giants led off the 10th with with two straight singles off Jonathan Broxton from Posey and Hunter Pence, his first hit of the series. Broxton came back with two straight strikeouts, but a passed ball advanced the runners and the error by Rolen forced a Game 4.
Rolen, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, made a decent throw on the play, but because he had to field the ball twice as the first hop came up to his mid-section, bounced off and hit the ground when Rolen scooped it up again, he was late on the speedy Arias.
"I've gone through the play many times in my mind between then and now, and I think I would play it the same way," Rolen said. "It hit my glove. I just couldn't get it to stick."
Homer Bailey and the Reds' pitching staff were brilliant yet again, only allowing a combined three hits and posting 16 strikeouts. Bailey at one point struck out six in a row on his way to tying a career high and Reds postseason record 10 strikeouts, and only allowed one hit just like Arroyo in Game 2, but the Reds' bats weren't there to back it up. After Bailey, Sean Marshall and Aroldis Chapman pitched two innings clean, combining for 3 strikeouts, and Broxton (0-1) tried to get out of the hole he dug, but it was too deep, despite getting strikeouts for all 3 outs.
The only Giants hit before the 10th came in the 6th with a Marco Scutaro single, and it wasn't even what got them their other run.
The Giants scored their other run in the 3rd when Bailey hit Gregor Blanco with a pitch, walked Brandon Crawford, Ryan Vogelsong sac bunted the two along and Angel Pagan put a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game.
The Reds only run came in the 1st inning when Jay Bruce pushed a single through the right side with two runners on thanks to two previous singles by Zach Cozart and Ryan Ludwick.
It might have been two runs scored were it not for a good recovery by Posey on a wild pitch that had Brandon Phillips rounding second while stealing after a leadoff single and heading to third, but he was thrown out just before getting to the base.
After that first inning it looked like the Reds were going to make it a long night for Ryan Vogelsong, but Vogelsong settled in, not allowing a hit for the remainder of the five innings he pitched.
The Giants' bullpen was solid in relief of Vogelsong, with Jeremy Affeldt keeping the Reds out in front with his offspeed and breaking stuff for two shutout innings, followed by a combined shutout inning from Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez. Sergio Romo (1-0), the smallest hurler on the team at 5-foot-10, came in and shut the door for good, not allowing a single baserunner in the 9th and 10th.
The only Reds hit outside the first inning came on an infield single for Scott Rolen in the 6th, which got Jay Bruce to second after he had been walked, but Ryan Hanigan, one of the powerhouses of Game 2, grounded out to second to end the last threat the Reds would put up.
Game 4 will start at 4:07 p.m. Wednesday at Great American Ball Park. Barry Zito (4.15 ERA in the regular season) is scheduled to pitch for the Giants, but the Reds have not yet announced a starter.
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