Braves Steal One in Extras at AT&T

Ankiel homers as NLDS moves to Atlanta

By Jason Middleton and Rick Lambert
|  Saturday, Oct 9, 2010  |  Updated 9:15 AM PDT
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Tied Series Moves to Enemy Turf

AP

Atlanta Braves Rick Ankiel hits a solo home run in the eleventh inning of Game 2 of the National League Division Series baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco, Friday, Oct. 8, 2010. The Braves beat the Giants 5-4 in eleven innings. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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Once upon a time, he couldn't pitch. Now, apparently, he can surely pitch. Rick Ankiel sunk an 11th-inning homer in McCovey Cove to bring the Atlanta Braves into a tie at 1-1 for the NLDS. The next game is Sunday in Atlanta.

Adding to the 'fun' was Derrek Lee -- a mid-season pickup for the Braves that paid solid dividends in this first round of the playoffs -- who went two-for-five with two runs scored.

Alex Gonzalez hit a tying, two-run double off closer Brian Wilson and the Atlanta Braves' bats woke up just in time to send Game 2 of their NL division series against the San Francisco Giants to extra innings tied at 4 on Friday night.

After being held to one unearned run in the first 16 innings of the series, the Braves erased a 4-1 deficit in the eighth inning of Game 2 as they tried to avoid falling into a 2-0 series hole.

Derrek Lee started the rally with a leadoff single against Sergio Romo and went to third on Brian McCann's single. The Giants then called on Wilson, who has never had a six-out save in his career, according to STATS LLC. Wilson did lead the majors this season with 10 saves of longer than an inning but he couldn't come through in his first career postseason appearance.

He got Melky Cabrera to hit a slow roller toward third that scored Atlanta's second run. Pablo Sandoval's throw to first pulled Aubrey Huff off the bag for an error, but Cabrera looked as though he would have beaten the throw anyway.

After a sacrifice bunt by Brooks Conrad, Gonzalez tied it with his double to left-center. Gonzalez had just two hits in 41 at-bats over his past 12 games before coming through against Wilson.

The Giants' bullpen had thrown 24 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings since late in the regular season before the eighth-inning meltdown.

Braves manager Bobby Cox wasn't around for the rally, having been ejected in the second inning for arguing a call at first base. It was the third career postseason ejection to go along with a record 158 in the regular season for the 69-year-old Cox, who is retiring after the season.

Below here is the NBC Bay Area Live Blog archive of Friday's game:
 

TOP OF THE 1ST SUMMARY

 Omar Infante led the game off with a single to left, but was stranded on second. A scary moment for the Giants, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval collided on a foul pop-up and each were tended to for a few minutes. Both would be ok.

Score: Braves  0  Giants  0

BOTTOM OF THE 1ST SUMMARY

Freddy Sanchez singled and Buster Posey walked before Pat Burrell crushed a three-run Home run to left.

Score: Braves  0  Giants  3

TOP OF THE 2ND SUMMARY

 Braves manager Bobby Cox was ejected for arguing a call at first. Matt Cain ends the inning with his first strikeout. Atlanta strands a runner.

Score:  Braves  0  Giants  3 

 BOTTOM OF THE 2ND SUMMARY

Cody Ross doubled to left and Matt Cain helped himself by singling him in.

Score: Braves  0  Giants  4

 TOP OF THE 3RD SUMMARY

Matt Cain sets the Braves down in order, includin a strikeout of rookie phenom Jason Heyward.

Score: Braves  0  Giants  4

BOTTOM OF THE 3RD SUMMARY

Tommy Hanson threw his first scoreless inning, Striking out two Giants. Buster Posey singled but was stranded at first.

Score: Braves  0  Giants  4

 TOP OF THE 4TH SUMMARY

Cain struck out two batters and stranded a runner at first. Cain has now k'd four Braves.

Score: Braves  0  Giants  4

BOTTOM OF THE 4TH SUMMARY

Tommy Hanson mowed down the Giants in order.

Score  Braves  0  Giants  4

TOP OF THE 5TH SUMMARY

The Braves posted  their first threat against Cain. Nate McLouth singled and Omar Infante walked, both with one out. Jason Heyward then hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Score: Braves  0  Giants  4

BOTTOM OF THE 5TH SUMMARY

Mike Dunn relieves Hanson. Retires th Giants in order.

Score: Braves  0  Giants  4

TOP OF THE 6TH SUMMARY

Derrick Lee singled to left and went to second on Pat Burrell's bobble. Bob McCann then singled to left scoring Atlanta's first run of the series. Cain would then settle down and retire the next three batters.

Score:  Braves  1  Giants  4

BOTTOM OF THE 6TH SUMMARY

Pat Burrell hit a two out double off of Pat Moylan who relieved Mike Dunn. Moylan struck out Juan Uribe looking to end the inning.

Score:  Braves  1  Giants  4

TOP OF THE 7TH SUMMARY

Omar infante had a two out single that ended Matt Cain's night. Javier Lopez came in to retire Jason Heyward on a strikeout. Cain's final pitching line: 6 IP, 0 ER (1 Run), 2 Hits, 6K's.

Score:  Braves  1  Giants  4

BOTTOM OF THE 7TH SUMMARY

 The Giants threatend as Pablo Sandoval singled off of new pitcher Jonny Venters. With one out pich hitter Aaron Rowand singled to right, putting runners at the corners. The threat ended when Andres Torres K'd and Freddy Sanchez flied out.

 Score: Braves  1  Giants  4

 TOP OF THE 8TH SUMMARY

Sergio Romo relieved Javier Lopez and gave up back to back singles to open the inning. Closer Brian Wilson entered the game for a six out save opportunity. Melky Cabrera hit a slow grounder to third baseman Pablo Sandoval and Sandoval made a bad throw to first. All runners were safe and Derrick Lee scored from third.

After a Brooks Conrad sacrafice bunt that move both runners into scoring position, Alex Gonzalez doubled to deep left center, tying the score at four apiece.  Wilson retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.

Score:  Braves  4  Giants  4

BOTTOM OF THE 8TH SUMMARY:

The Giants went down in order.

Score: Braves  4  Giants  4

 TOP OF THE 9TH SUMMARY:

Brian Wilson retired the Braves in order.

Score:  Braves  4  Giants  4

 BOTTOM OF THE 9TH SUMMARY:

Craig Kimbrel on the mound for the Braves. The Giants tried to avoid going into extra innings, but Juan Uribe struck out swinging, followed by a ground out by Pablo Sandavol. Cody Ross then struck out to end the inning.

Score: Braves  4  Giants  4 

TOP OF THE 10TH SUMMARY:

Ramon Ramirez in to pitch for the Giants. The Braves went down in order.

Score: Braves  4  Giants  4

BOTTOM OF THE 10TH SUMMARY:

Billy Wagner in to pitch for the Braves. Edgar Renteria lead off the inning with a pinch-hit bunt single. Andres Torres advanced Renteria to second with a sacrifice bunt. Billy Wagner was injured on the play. Kyle Farnsworth came in to relieve Wagner. Freddy Sanchez reached on a hit-by-pitch.

Score Braves  4  Giants  4

TOP OF THE 11TH SUMMARY

Rick Ankiel hit a one out splash landing homer off of Ramon Ramirez. Ramirez then got the next two batters.

Score: Braves  5  Giants  4

 

Selected Reading: The Associated Press

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