Late MLB game: Rally gives Giants 3-1 edge page 2

In a back-and-forth classic, the Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 in front of a passionate crowd at AT&T Park.

Date published: 10/21/2010


Pablo Sandoval had the other vital hit of the night, setting aside his disappointing summer with his most important at-bat of the season. Moments after he was denied a double that appeared to hit the edge of the chalk in right field, Sandoval came back to stroke another that put the Giants ahead in the sixth.

He lined a two-strike pitch that split the outfielders in left-center field to give Giants a 5-4 lead. Even before pulling into second base, Sandoval madly began waving his arms like an NFL linebacker, imploring the crowd and pointing to his dugout.

It was a watershed moment for a young player who hit a brilliant .330 a year ago but had become so impatient and unwatchable that Bochy had benched him in the previous five playoff games.

"Everything going crazy," Sandoval said of the dugout scene. "I just couldn't believe it. I was so excited. When you're a little kid, you dream of going to the World Series. It's one of the best moments of my life.

"We were in fourth place at the All-Star break. We kept fighting. We're here."

The Giants already had the advantage in this series, but Game 4 was an opportunity they couldn't allow to pass. It was their only game against a starter other than Oswalt, Roy Halladay or Cole Hamels.

This one took a different tack, all right. Both starting pitchers were replaced in the fifth inning and strangely enough, both Madison Bumgarner and Joe Blanton left with the lead.

It was a bullpen game. And if there is one area where the Giants drew a clear checkmark against the Phillies, it's the depth and electric stuff of their relief crew.

Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo each blew leads, but kept their composure and made pitches to avoided total meltdowns. Javier Lopez and Romo allowed consecutive doubles to Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth as the Phillies tied it in the eighth.

The Giants regretted their missed opportunity in the seventh, when Sandoval couldn't land the knockout chop grounding into a double play with the bases loaded.

But in the end, Uribe was able to make a fist. And the Giants will send Lincecum to the mound in Game 5, hoping to punch their ticket to the World Series for the first time since 2002.

"I tell you what, this team has a lot of fight," Romo said. "One win is hard to get, and those guys want it, too. This is the playoffs and anything can happen.

"But I like our chances. I like our chances to put them away."

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Date published: 10/21/2010