Giants stave off elimination, Nationals take series lead

San Francisco Giants' Joe Panik, right, hits a double to score Brandon Crawford in front of Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross during the thirteenth inning of Game 3 of baseball's National League Division Series in San Francisco, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. The Giants won 6-5 in 13 innings. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
San Francisco Giants' Joe Panik, right, hits a double to score Brandon Crawford in front of Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross during the thirteenth inning of Game 3 of baseball's National League Division Series in San Francisco, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. The Giants won 6-5 in 13 innings. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sure is hard to send these San Francisco Giants home in October.

Joe Panik doubled off the right-center wall in the 13th inning to drive in Brandon Crawford, and the Giants outlasted the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Monday night in Game 3 to extend their NL Division Series.

Boosted by Conor Gillaspie’s go-ahead triple in the eighth off Aroldis Chapman, the Giants rallied from a three-run deficit and won their 10th straight game when facing postseason elimination.

San Francisco overcame Kris Bryant’s two-run homer off closer Sergio Romo that tied it 5-all in the ninth, and an early three-run shot by pitcher Jake Arrieta against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.

“Just because we’re down, we’re not out. If we’re breathing, we’re still fighting,” Panik said.

The wild-card Giants forced Game 4 at their raucous ballpark, postponing a potential Cubs clinch party in the visitors’ clubhouse.

Chicago leads the best-of-five playoff 2-1 and will send John Lackey to the mound Tuesday night opposite lefty Matt Moore.

“We played it hard, we played it right — and they beat us,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.

Teammates piled on Panik in celebration after he came through on the 57th pitch from Mike Montgomery, beginning his fifth inning of relief. Crawford hit a leadoff double on an 0-2 curve, bringing Panik to the plate.

His big hit ended a 5-hour, 4-minute game that was only 29 minutes shy of the total time it took to play the first two series games combined last week at Wrigley Field.

“Somehow we always just find a way with our backs up against the wall,” Panik said. “It’s always somebody.”

Gillaspie hit a two-run triple in the eighth and Crawford added an RBI single to give the Giants a 5-3 lead.

Rookie left-hander Ty Blach earned the win, escaping a 13th-inning jam when pinch-hitter David Ross bounced into a double play .

“There’s a sense of calmness,” Panik said. “It’s like we’ve been there before.”

Bryant’s tying drive hit the top of the left-field fence and bounced into the seats, silencing the orange towel-swirling sellout crowd. The slugger received a warm hug of congratulations in the dugout from Chapman, who had just given up the lead.

On a night when the early focus was the marquee pitching matchup between Bumgarner and Arrieta, the bullpens decided this one hours later.

Arrieta’s three-run drive in the second held up most of the way.

“The game had everything — pitching, timely hitting on both sides. It was just a fun game to be involved with,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Arrieta’s shot ended Bumgarner’s postseason scoreless streak at 24 innings. The left-hander had also thrown 24 straight shutout innings with the Giants facing postseason elimination, a separate string that was snapped as well.

Buster Posey hit an RBI single for the Giants in the third, and Brandon Belt had a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Chapman relieved with two on in the eighth, trying for the second six-out save of his career, and Gillaspie tripled to deep right-center to put San Francisco ahead 4-3.

Starting at third base for a banged-up Eduardo Nunez, Gillaspie also hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning for all the runs in Bumgarner’s wild-card win over the Mets last Wednesday in New York.

In the bottom of the ninth, Albert Almora Jr. made a diving catch in deep right field on Posey’s sinking liner and doubled up Belt at first base for an inning-ending double play that kept the Cubs in it.

The Giants won the World Series in 2010, ’12 and ’14, and still believe they can get by Chicago and do it again given their remarkable track record with the season at stake.

In 2012 against the Reds, San Francisco became the first team to come back from an 0-2 deficit and win a best-of-five series with three straight road victories. After that, the Giants came back from 3-1 down to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series.

“I just think it’s part of our DNA,” Belt said. “We never think we’re out of it.”


Chapman entered in the eighth and struck out Hunter Pence with five consecutive pitches clocked at 101 or 102 mph. That brought up Gillaspie, who grounded out his first three times up. He fouled off the first offering before driving the ball beyond a diving Almora in right-center.

Gillaspie has knocked in five of San Francisco’s 11 runs this postseason.

“Give Gillaspie credit,” Maddon said. “He did it a couple days ago. He got an elevated fastball and hit it to the far part of the ballpark. I think it surprised a lot of people.”

It was the 10th extra-base hit Chapman has allowed to a left-handed batter in his career — and the first triple.


The only Giants player with strong numbers against Arrieta was a late scratch. Left fielder Angel Pagan got pulled from the lineup about an hour before the first pitch because of back spasms. Pagan had a .455 average (5 for 11) against Arrieta with a double and two strikeouts. Gregor Blanco replaced him.


Lackey will try to pitch the Cubs into their second straight NLCS, while Moore looks to build on his success down the stretch after the Giants acquired him at the Aug. 1 trade deadline from Tampa Bay.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Nationals beat Dodgers 8-3 to take 2-1 lead in NLDS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jayson Werth always wanted to hit a home run out of Dodger Stadium when he played two seasons in the venerable ballpark. His latest attempt came close with a 450-foot blast into the upper reaches of the left-field pavilion.

Werth’s homer helped break open a one-run game in the ninth inning, moving the Washington Nationals within one victory of taking a postseason series for the first time with an 8-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday and a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five NL playoff.

Heck, he even tied Babe Ruth with his 15th career postseason homer, good for 11th all-time.

“Ever since Dusty (Baker) moved me into the two-hole, I just felt like my job is to get on base for the animals behind me,” said Werth, whose three hits tied a postseason career high.

Four relievers combined for 4 2/3 shutout innings, putting the Nationals in position to wrap up the NL Division Series on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

“They work quick and they’re not afraid to go after anybody,” said third baseman Anthony Rendon, who hit a two-run homer in a four-run third that chased Kenta Maeda.

Werth added, “It gives us confidence. I feel like the bullpen is going to hold up and that might not have been the case or the feeling in years past.”

NL East champions for the third time in five years, the Nats were unable to advance during their two previous trips to the postseason. They lost in the Division Series to St. Louis in 2012 and San Francisco in 2014.

“I’m hoping this is our year,” Werth said. “We’re battle-tested, we’re playoff-tested, and we’ve got a good group of guys. We’ve been playing together a long time now, so I feel like this is our opportunity.”

Now 37 and with his 2008 World Series championship in Philadelphia long behind him, Werth senses time encroaching on him.

“Obviously, I can’t play this game forever,” he said. “So I feel like this is our chance and I also feel like maybe this is my last chance to do it.”

The franchise has won one playoff series — the Montreal Expos beat Philadelphia following the strike-shortened 1981 season before losing to the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series.

The team moved from Montreal to Washington before the 2005 season.

Playing 23 hours after the Nationals tied the series at home in a rain-postponed Game 2, the Dodgers again struggled against left-handed pitching, a problem throughout the season when they had a major league-worst .213 average against lefties.

Four Washington lefty relievers stymied the Dodgers in the first two games. Facing lefty starter Gio Gonzalez in Game 3, they got three runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings.

The only Dodgers hitter with proven success against Gonzalez was catcher Carlos Ruiz, and he came through with a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the fifth that cut their deficit to 4-3.

“I made one bad pitch, but the bullpen was incredible,” Gonzalez said. “It’s tough to go on the road and win in the playoffs. I went after them but I wish I had that one pitch back.”

After that, the Dodgers mustered just a pair of singles off a Nats’ bullpen that included lefties Sammy Solis and Oliver Perez, and didn’t advance a runner past first base. Solis wound up with the win.

Now, the four-time defending NL West champions are facing elimination.

“We’re not afraid of this,” rookie manager Dave Roberts said. “There’s no quit in our guys. We’ll be ready tomorrow to win a baseball game, I can promise you that.”

It was still 4-3 when Werth homered on a 1-0 pitch from All-Star closer Kenley Jansen leading off the ninth.

Ryan Zimmerman added a two-run double that bounced off right fielder Josh Reddick’s glove at the wall — the hit scored Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper, who both walked.

Jansen, the team’s all-time saves leader, was yanked. Los Angeles used all seven of its relievers in the game.

Maeda gave up four runs and five hits in three innings. The Japanese right-hander who won a team-leading 16 games is one of seven rookies on the Dodgers’ NLDS roster.

“Kenta was missing and getting behind,” Roberts said. “His fastball leaked back behind the plate and they made him pay. It was a good game until the ninth. That’s baseball.”

Maeda retired the side in the second, striking out two, before wilting in the third. He opened the inning by giving up four hits in five batters.

Werth’s RBI double in the right-field corner tied the game 1-all. Harper hit an RBI single and Rendon followed with his two-run shot to the left-field pavilion for a 4-1 lead.

Dodgers rookie Corey Seager continued his first-inning success in the series, hitting an RBI double off the wall for a 1-0 lead after homering in the first inning of Games 1 and 2.


Nationals SS Danny Espinosa got hit by a pitch from Maeda in the third inning, the third time he’s been hit, which is the most in NLDS history. He trails Shane Victorino, who was hit four times in the 2013 ALDS against Boston for most in a division series in major league history.


Dodgers rookie Julio Urias (5-2, 3.39 ERA) is scheduled to start Game 4, but the Dodgers could bring back Game 1 winner Clayton Kershaw on short rest with their season on the line. Urias made two starts against the Nationals this season. He allowed two runs and six hits in five innings of a no-decision at home on June 22. The left-hander allowed one run in four innings on July 21 at Washington. The Dodgers won both games.

The Nationals have yet to announce their starter. It’s possible RHP Joe Ross would start Game 4 and Game 1 loser Max Scherzer would take the mound if Game 5 is necessary.

The game will start at 5:05 p.m. EDT. The teams had to wait until San Francisco’s 13-inning win over the Cubs ended just before 3 a.m. EDT to find out when first pitch would be — Los Angeles and Washington would have begun at 8:08 p.m. EDT if Chicago had won.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.