The Giants couldn’t muster much against Reds starter Homer Bailey. They couldn’t scratch anything across against the heart of the Reds bullpen.
Then Jonathan Broxton entered the game.
Buster Posey led off the top of the 10th with a single. Hunter Pence, plagued by cramps during his at-bat, singled to left and hobbled to first base. After Brandon Belt and Xavier Nady struck out, Posey and Pence advanced one base each on a passed ball by Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan.
It looked like the Giants might waste their best opportunity to extend their season, but Jaoquin Arias hit a slow chopper to Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, who juggled it and couldn’t throw Arias out at first, allowing Posey to score the go-ahead run.
Fear The Beard-lookalike Sergio Romo pitched two perfect innings to close out the 2-1 win over Reds and force a Game 4 on Wednesday. The Reds now lead the best-of-five NLDS 2-1.
Unlike Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong held up his end of the deal, going five innings while allowing just one run and striking out five. After he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the 6th, Giants relievers Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez served as a sturdy bridge to Romo.
It was a frustrating, nail-biting game, but the Giants found some way to pull it out. They didn’t panic or put their heads down when they couldn’t get anything started against Bailey. The Giants didn’t record their first hit of the night until Marco Scutaro singled with one out in the sixth.
But the Giants can’t relax. They have another win-or-go-home game on Wednesday afternoon in Cincinnati. The Reds have not announced who will start the game for them. Mat Latos was originally scheduled, but he pitched in Game 1 after Johnny Cueto left with an oblique injury.
The Reds are contemplating removing Cueto from the roster due to injury and adding Mike Leake, but then Cueto would not be eligible for the NLCS should the Reds advance.
The Giants will give the ball to veteran Barry Zito, who allowed just two runs in 12 innings against the Reds this season.