Cincinnati, OH – The San Francisco Giants staved off elimination Tuesday and did so by not driving in a run with a hit.
Buster Posey scored on third baseman Scott Rolen's two-out error in the top of the 10th inning, and the Giants edged the Cincinnati Reds, 2-1, at Great American Ball Park, a venue that had recently not been kind to the NL West champs.
The third game of this Division Series was dominated by stellar pitching.
San Francisco entered the 10th with only one hit, a two-out single in the sixth by Marco Scutaro off Cincinnati's Homer Bailey, who struck out 10 and walked one over seven frames.
"Homer was lights out," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "That's the best I've seen Homer. I didn't see his no-hitter (Sept. 28 at Pittsburgh) because I was in the hospital. He's getting better and better and that's what we had hoped."
Reds reliever Jonathan Broxton (0-1) gave up back-to-back singles to Posey and Hunter Pence in the fateful 10th before fanning Brandon Belt and Xavier Nady. Posey then scored when Rolen bobbled a chopper and Joaquin Arias beat the throw to first base.
"It was a tough play," Baker said. "The ball came up on him at the last minute. This guy is one of the best. You got to give the base runner credit for hustling down the line at the same time. Most guys, they're out on that ball. That was just a series of bad events."
Ryan Hanigan's passed ball had allowed the Giants catcher to get to third.
Sergio Romo (1-0) secured the win by tossing his second straight 1-2-3 inning.
The Giants will look to even this best-of-five set on Wednesday.
Only four teams -- all from the American League -- have battled back from an 0-2 deficit to advance since Division Series play began in 1995.
The odds become more daunting for the Giants considering the Reds' longest losing streak at home during the regular season was only two games.
"You never know what can happen, but I do know that we had to win today," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We had no choice. We couldn't do much early in that game."
Angel Pagan contributed a sacrifice fly for San Francisco, which had lost seven of its previous eight regular-season games in Cincinnati.
Ryan Vogelsong, like Bailey, made his first career playoff start. He pitched five frames for the Giants, tossing 30 of his 95 pitches during a laborious first inning.
"(Vogelsong) was trying to settle in," Bochy said. "Once he did, he pitched great."
Brandon Phillips began the bottom of the first with a chopper back up the middle for a leadoff single. He stole second on a pitch that got away from Posey, but was nailed trying to scamper to third.
The aggressive base running wound up costing Cincinnati a run because three of the next four batters reached base. Zack Cozart walked and Ryan Ludwick lined a two-out single to left field before Jay Bruce plated Cozart with a base hit through a hole on the right side.
Vogelsong, however, kept the damage to one run by striking out Rolen looking on a pitch down and in.
San Francisco tied the game in the third. Bailey drilled the leadoff batter, Gregor Blanco, with a pitch and walked Brandon Crawford, the No. 8 hitter, before Vogelsong advanced the runners with a sac bunt. Blanco then scurried home on Pagan's fly ball to center.
Vogelsong didn't allow another hit during his outing. He did issue consecutive two-out walks to Joey Votto and Ludwick in the third, but Bruce flied out.
The Reds recorded only one hit after the first, an infield single by Rolen with two gone in the sixth. San Francisco's Jeremy Affeldt then retired Hanigan on a 4-3 grounder with two men aboard. The southpaw had hit Bruce with a pitch prior to Rolen's swinging bunt.
The last time the Giants dropped three straight playoff games came in 2003, when they lost Games 2-4 to the Florida Marlins in the Division Series ... Bailey threw 88 pitches, 60 for strikes.