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Ankiel's blast caps Braves' comeback

Watch out! Buster Posey catches Jason Heyward’s first-inning popup despite colliding with Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval. 

Associated Press

Watch out! Buster Posey catches Jason Heyward’s first-inning popup despite colliding with Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval. 

SAN FRANCISCO — Rick Ankiel's one-out homer into the San Francisco Bay in the 11th inning gave the Braves a 5-4 victory Friday that evened the NL division series at a game apiece.

Kyle Farnsworth picked up the win by working out of a bases-loaded jam in the 10th then retiring San Francisco in the 11th.

The Giants had a 4-0 lead after three innings thanks primarily to Pat Burrell. The leftfielder, released in May after an unproductive stint with the Rays, hit a three-run homer in the first.

Freddy Sanchez singled with one out in the first. Buster Posey drew a four-pitch walk with two outs. Burrell hit the next pitch into the leftfield seats for his fifth postseason home run.

The Giants added a run in the second when Cody Ross hustled for a one-out double to leftfield and scored on Matt Cain's single to center. Cain became the first Giants pitcher to drive in a run in the postseason since Johnny Antonelli on Sept. 30, 1954, in Game 2 of the World Series against the Indians.

The Braves scored in the sixth when Derrek Lee singled and went to second after Burrell bobbled the ball for an error. Brian McCann followed with a single that snapped a 24-inning postseason scoreless streak for the Braves dating to 2005.

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

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

After a bunt by Brooks Conrad, Alex 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 241/3 consecutive scoreless innings since late in the regular season.

The Giants threatened in the 10th. Pinch-hitter Edgar Renteria led off with a bunt single off Braves closer Billy Wagner. Andres Torres followed with another bunt, and Wagner hurt himself on the throw to first.

Atlanta brought in Farns­worth, who hit his first batter, Sanchez, and walked his second, Huff. But Posey hit into a 5-4-3 double play.

The Braves played most of the game without manager Bobby Cox, who was ejected for the third time from a postseason game. Cox also has been ejected from a majors-record 158 regular-season games.

The latest came after Gonzalez was called out by Paul Emmel after Giants shortstop Juan Uribe made a diving stop and threw to first in the second. The throw beat Gonzalez, but replays showed Huff's foot might have come off the bag.

Ankiel's blast caps Braves' comeback 10/09/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 9, 2010 2:31am]

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