The Cincinnati Reds entered Tuesday night’s game at home against the San Francisco Giants one win away from their first playoff victory since 1995, and they didn’t get it done. The Giants were fighting for their season, and came through with a 2-1 extra inning victory in game three of the National League Division Series. The Reds lead the series 2-1.
The Reds squandered a 16-strikeout performance by their pitching staff and the offense was flat as an untimely error proved all the edge San Francisco needed.
In the top of the 10th inning, the Giants got back-to-back singles from Buster Posey and Hunter Pence. Reds reliever Jonathan Broxton struck out the next two batters before a passed ball moved runners to second and third. Joaquin Arias then faced a 1-2 count and hit a routine hopper to third base that was bobbled by former Gold Glover Scott Rolen, allowing Posey to score and give the Giants a 2-1 lead. Rolen was charged with an error on the play.
With 5-2 and 9-o victories over the Giants to open the series, the Reds won their first playoff games since ’95, but the franchise is still seeking its first playoff series win since sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1995 NLDS.
Homer Bailey started for Cincinnati, going seven inning and giving up just one hit and one run. Bailey hit Gregor Blanco with a pitch in the third inning, and followed that by walking Brandon Crawford. Giants’ starter Ryan Vogelsong then sacrifice bunted, moving Blanco to third. Blanco would score on a sac fly by Angel Pagan to tie the game. Other than that inning Bailey, who this season became the first Cincinnati Red since 1988 to throw a no hitter, was superb before being removed for pinch hitter Todd Frazier, who failed to reach base.
Sean Marshall and Aroldis Chapman combined for a perfect eighth and ninth, striking out three.
Vogelsong turned in a solid appearance for San Francisco, going five innings while allowing just three hits and one run. The Reds first run came on a single by Jay Bruce to right field to score Zach Cozart.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Reds’ Xavier Paul, Brandon Phillips and Cozart went 1-2-3.