CINCINNATI -- Hardly able to get a hit, the Giants used a misplayed grounder to prolong their NL playoff series.
Third baseman Scott Rolen's two-out error in the 10th inning gave the Giants the go-ahead run last night in a 2-1 victory over the Reds, who couldn't shake 17 years of home postseason futility. The Giants avoided a sweep in Game 3.
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Rolen, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, couldn't come up with Joaquin Arias' short-hop grounder, bobbled it and threw late to first.
"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."
The Giants managed only three hits against Homer Bailey and three Reds relievers, but got two in the 10th -- along with a passed ball by Ryan Hanigan -- to pull it out. The Giants won despite striking out 16 times.
Cincinnati had four hits, only one after the first inning. Brandon Phillips led off with a single but was thrown out at third when he tried to advance from first on a ball that got away from catcher Buster Posey. It was costly -- the Reds scored on a walk and a pair of singles, including Jay Bruce's RBI hit to right.
Lefthander Barry Zito will pitch Game 4 today for the Giants, who have won the last 11 times he started. The Reds have to decide whether to try ace Johnny Cueto, who was forced out of the opener in San Francisco on Saturday with spasms in his back and side.
The Reds haven't won a home playoff game since 1995, the last time they reached the NLCS. One win away from making it back there, they couldn't beat a team that has barely been able to get a hit. The Giants didn't need many in this one.
Bailey made his first start at Great American Ball Park since his Sept. 28 no-hitter in Pittsburgh and allowed only one hit in seven innings. Marco Scutaro singled in the sixth.
Fortunately for the Giants, Bailey's one lapse led to a run. He hit a batter, walked another and gave up a sacrifice fly by Angel Pagan in the third inning.
That was it until the 10th, with the Giants going down swinging -- the Reds set a season high for strikeouts. Closer Aroldis Chapman got a pair of strikeouts on 100-mph fastballs during a perfect ninth inning.
San Francisco's one-hit wonders finally got it going against Jonathan Broxton, who gave up leadoff singles by Posey, the NL batting champion, and Hunter Pence, who pulled his left calf on a wild swing before getting his hit.
With two outs, Hanigan couldn't come up with a pitch, letting the runners advance. Arias' tricky grounder put Rolen in a tough spot -- charging the ball for a quick short-hop swipe. He couldn't come up with it cleanly and Arias beat the throw.
Reds manager Dusty Baker was back in the home dugout at Great American Ball Park for the first time in nearly a month, after recovering from an irregular heartbeat and a mini-stroke. After a pregame ovation, he settled in his red folding chair with a toothpick on his lips.