San Francisco, CA – The Dodgers are one win away from their third straight National League West Division title. But that celebration will have to wait another day because the Giants are still alive after Alejandro De Anza’s sacrifice fly drove in the winning run giving San Francisco a 3-2 victory over LA in extra innings.
“We played very well, and we had to,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Kelby, he saved our necks a couple times. Those kids have gotten better and better.”
Jake Peavy knew before the first pitch was thrown that this game was a must win. He retired the first three batters he faced in the first. Worked around a one-out double by Andre Either in the second, while his offense backed him with a couple of runs bottom of the inning.
The Dodgers got on the board in the third, Carl Crawford singled followed by a RBI single from Corey Seager making it a 2-1 game. Peavy outpitched the leading Cy Young Award candidate, Zack Greinke. He tossed a solid game pitching seven frames, allowing three hits and one run. After giving up a run to Seager, Peavy stifled the Dodgers offense through five frames.
“Get rid of that second baseman of theirs; he made a number of plays on us,” said LA manager Don Mattingly. “On Andre with a chance to win it, on Chase [Utley]with a chance to win it.”
“It seemed every one was stretching me out a little bit,” Kelby Tomlinson said. “It was fun to be a part of. I’m just going to do something I’ve done for years and that’s play baseball. It’s just a lot of fun to be out there playing in games like this.”
San Francisco provided good defense and kept the Dodgers off the board until the ninth. Tomlinson made a full-length diving stop at second and threw out Seager for the first out in the sixth. Peavy then retired the next six batters before being replaced by John Osich in the eighth.
By the ninth, LA tied the game 2-2 when Osich gave up back-to-back singles to both Seager and Adrian Gonzalez to start the inning. Santiago Casilla replaced Osich and forced Justin Turner to hit a sacrifice bunt moving Seager to third for the tying run. Either tied the game with a RBI groundout forcing the game into extra innings.
The Giants had a chance in the bottom of the frame when Buster Posey doubled with one out. Juan Nicasio intentionally walked Brandon Crawford putting two on with one out. Marlon Byrd grounded out to second moving Posey to third while second baseman Chase Utley bobbled the ball which could’ve easily been a double play. Tomlinson grounded out to end the inning.
Casilla issued a free pass to Yasmani Grandal in the tenth. Enrique Hernandez singled and another pitching change brought Javier Lopez in to force pinch-hitter Jimmy Rollins to pop out. Lopez struck out Seager to end the inning stranding runners at first and second.
Another opportunity came for San Francisco in the bottom of the tenth when Trevor Brown led off with a walk. But the Giants failed to produce any runs. Sergio Romo yielded two singles in the eleventh, Hunter Strickland replaced him and forced Utley to ground into a double play to end the threat.
“Byrd has done a great job for us, I love how he plays,” said Bochy before the game. “For a guy who’s 38, he plays like he’s 28. He takes care of himself. He’s a threat at the plate. He’s got a knack for knocking in runs.”
Byrd led off the twelfth with a single and Tomlinson followed with a single and no outs. Pinch-hitter Alejandro De Anza hit a sacrifice fly that drove in Byrd for the win. De Anza recorded his fourth career walk-off RBI and first since August 13, 2013 vs Detroit.
“I felt it was a real intense game,” Greinke said. “We played great, they played really good. Peavy pitched as good as I’ve seen him pitch. It was a game played really well all the way around.”
San Francisco improved to 7-0 against the Dodgers at AT&T park this season. Which is their longest single season home winning streak against LA since 1961. The Dodgers magic number is two, they can clinch with one win in this four-game series. The Giants have their work ahead of them especially tomorrow when Madison Bumgarner faces Clayton Kershaw.