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October 11, 2012

Historic night for Yankees' Ibanez

Pinch hitter slugs homer in 9th, walkoff blast in 12th

(Continued)

Rookie Pete Kozma delivered a three-run homer, and a trio of relievers finished the shutout for the Cardinals, who can end the best-of-five series in today’s Game 4 at Washington. Kyle Lohse will start for St. Louis. Ross Detwiler pitches for Washington, which is sticking to its long-stated plan of keeping Stephen Strasburg on the sideline the rest of the way.

“We’re not out of this, by a long shot,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “Shoot, I’ve had my back to worse walls than this.”

With the exception of Ian Desmond — 3 for 4 on Wednesday, 7 for 12 in the series — the Nationals’ hitters are struggling mightily. They’ve scored a total of seven runs in the playoffs and went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base in Game 3.

Rookie phenom Bryce Harper’s woes, in particular, stand out: He went 0 for 5, dropping to 1 for 15.

He went to the plate with an ash bat and no gloves in the first inning, tried wearing anti-glare tinted contact lenses on a sun-splashed afternoon — nothing helped.

Pagan, Lincecum

lift Giants

CINCINNATI — Angel Pagan connects on the second pitch of the game. A Giants team that finished last in homers goes on to hit three. Tim Lincecum pitches like a two-time Cy Young winner — this time, out of the bullpen.

So many unusual things moved San Francisco to the verge of an unprecedented comeback.

Pagan hit the first leadoff homer in Giants postseason history, and Gregor Blanco and Pablo Sandoval connected later for an 8-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds that evened their NL Division Series at 2-2.

No team has recovered from a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-five series by winning three on the road, according to STATS LLC.

This one can do it with a victory today at Great American Ball Park.

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