SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Rick Ankiel hit a solo home run in the 11th inning to lift the Atlanta Braves to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday.
The victory evens the National League Division Series at 1-1. The series now shifts to Atlanta.
"I was just looking for a pitch to drive, and got lucky and put a good swing on it," Ankiel said.
"And I can't explain how I feel right now. I'd say this is the pinnacle of everything I've ever done. To win a playoff game with a home run, I mean, that's where it's at."
The Braves rallied from an early 4-0 deficit, scoring one run in the sixth inning and then adding three more in the eighth off Giants reliever Brian Wilson, who led the NL with 48 saves during the season.
Atlanta also got some help from a pair of errors by the Giants.
"It just seems like our resiliency has paid off for us all season and it's fun to be a part of," said Ankiel. The Braves had 25 wins in their final at-bats during the season.
San Francisco missed an opportunity to salvage a win when they loaded the bases with one out in the 10th inning but failed to score as Buster Posey grounded into a double play.
Six Braves relievers combined to pitch seven scoreless innings with Kyle Farnsworth picking up the victory.
"You have to give it up for them (the bullpen), they have been strong all season," said Ankiel, a former pitcher himself.
"To come out here and get out of the bases-loaded jam was unbelievable. It gave a chance to the offense to put a run up."
The Braves had the best home record in baseball this season going 56-25 at Turner Field.
"I think we're feeling pretty good," said Ankiel.
"We've played good at home all year, and we'll go out there and give Huddy (Tim Hudson) the ball. He's been fabulous all year. I think it's in our favor."
Pat Burrell gave the Giants an early lead with a three-run homerun in the bottom of the first inning, and the Giants added another run in the second inning when starting pitcher Matt Cain drove in Cody Ross with an RBI single.
Cain pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing just one unearned run on seven hits and two walks while striking out six.
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by Peter Rutherford)