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SAN FRANCISCO - Nationals manager Matt Williams thought long and hard about his decision to remove Jordan Zimmermann with two outs in the ninth and go to closer Drew Storen, and he stood by it a day later.

Williams had extra innings after his ejection to ponder the move Saturday night, then a cross-country flight.

He said he would do it again, even if there's some agony involved given Storen blew the save chance and Washington lost to the Giants 2-1 in 18 innings, putting the Nationals in a 2-0 hole in the NL Division Series.

The best-of-five matchup shifts to San Francisco for Game 3 this afternoon as Washington tries to save its season.

"I kicked myself on that. That's human nature," Williams said Sunday. "You kick yourself any time it doesn't work. However, you have to put your guys in position to do their jobs and what they do. So that being said, I don't have a problem with it. It didn't work out. But we've got our best guy who is the closer coming in to pick up the guy that just gave us all he had for 8 2/3rds."

"Now, could you say that it was the wrong move? Of course you can. You could say that. Could you say it was the right move? Yes, you could say that, as well. It didn't work out. That being said, it's, yeah, I kick myself for bringing Drew in and having him tie the game. Beyond that, we had nine more innings to win it. So that's how I look at it."

Williams pulled Zimmermann after a two-out walk to Joe Panik. At that point, Zimmermann was pitching a three-hitter and had a 1-0 lead.

Buster Posey greeted Storen with a single and Pablo Sandoval followed with an RBI double.

KEMP RESCUES DODGERS: Matt Kemp skipped down the first-base line, watching his drive fly while calling out to the ball, trying to coax it to stay fair.

Once it sailed inside the foul pole and landed in the lower leftfield seats, he had salvaged a victory for the Dodgers after their bullpen almost gave it away.

Kemp hit a go-ahead home run leading off the eighth inning, lifting Los Angeles to a 3-2 win over the Cardinals late Saturday night and evening their NL Division Series at a game apiece.

"This was big for us," he said. "I feel like we definitely do have the momentum. We got to continue to go, though."

No one looked happier greeting Kemp in the dugout than a once-distraught J.P. Howell, the former Ray who had served up a tying two-run homer to Matt Carpenter in the top of the inning after relieving Zack Greinke.

"It was incredible, man," Howell said. "To me it was almost religious because I was praying so hard and it happened pretty quickly. I was pretty thankful."

FOGGY NOTION: Royals C Salvador Perez said he felt "dizzy" and "foggy" after taking a blow to the head during Game 2 of the ALDS, even though he remained in the game.

Perez said manager Ned Yost and trainer Nick Kenney asked him a series of questions and made sure he was okay before letting him to continue. The Royals won 4-1 in 11 innings.

"A little headache. After I get hit, I just feel like ... dizzy, a little foggy a little bit," Perez said. "I talked to Ned about that and after 30 seconds, I think everything is gone. But now I feel good, no more headache and ready to go."

HUNTER'S FUTURE: Tigers RF Torii Hunter said he's strongly considering retirement after his 18th season ended in a playoff loss.

"It's 100 percent serious, bro. I have been thinking about it a long time," Hunter told the New York Post.

Hunter, 39, a five-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove winner, batted .286 with a .319 on-base percentage and a .446 slugging percentage in 142 games this season. He's one of several key Tigers eligible for free agency this offseason, along with RHP Max Scherzer and DH Victor Martinez.

* * *


Orioles 3, Tigers 0

Game 1: Orioles 12, Tigers 3

Game 2: Orioles 7, Tigers 6

Sunday: Orioles 2, Tigers 1

Royals 2, Angels 0

Game 1: Royals 3, Angels 2 (11)

Game 2: Royals 4, Angels 1 (11)

Sunday: at Kansas City, late

Tonight*: at Kansas City, 6 p.m., TBS

Wednesday*: at Los Angeles, 8:30, TBS

* * *


Giants 2, Nationals 0

Game 1: Giants 3, Nationals 2

Game 2: Giants 2, Nationals 1, 18

Today: at San Francisco, TBD, MLBN

Tuesday*: at San Francisco, 9 p.m., FS1

Thursday*: at Washington, TBD, FS1

Cardinals 1, Dodgers 1

Game 1: Cardinals 10, Dodgers 9

Game 2: Dodgers 3, Cardinals 2

Today: at St. Louis, TBD, FS1

Tuesday: at St. Louis, TBD, FS1

Thursday*: at Los Angeles, TBD, FS1

* If necessary