Cody Ross came through with another key hit this postseason while Matt Cain outdueled Cole Hamels as the San Francisco Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0 on Tuesday to take a 2-1 lead in the National League Championship Series.
Ross hit an RBI single in the fourth inning to break a scoreless tie and fellow playoff first-timer Aubrey Huff followed with a run-scoring single. The Giants grabbed the edge in their best-of-seven series against the two-time defending NL champions — with two more games in their home ballpark.
Among those in the 43,320 crowd was home run king Barry Bonds in a front-row seat near San Francisco’s dugout.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy tweaked his lineup and it worked.
Aaron Rowand earned a start in center field, then doubled and scored on Freddy Sanchez’s fifth-inning single.
This marked the third impressive pitcher’s duel in as many games of this NLCS. First, it was Roy Halladay versus Tim Lincecum, then Roy Oswalt and Jonathan Sanchez.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was considering going back to Halladay on short rest for Game 4 if his team trailed, though Joe Blanton was penciled in for the start. Rookie Madison Bumgarner, who pitched the division series clincher in Atlanta, goes for the Giants.
Cain allowed two hits over seven innings, struck out five and walked three in a strong 119-pitch effort.
Javier Lopez pitched the eighth and Brian Wilson finished it for his fourth postseason save and second in as many tries this series.
Cain and 2008 World Series MVP Hamels each began with three scoreless innings. The left-handed Hamels didn’t allow a hit until Edgar Renteria’s single to start the fourth, while Carlos Ruiz’s one-out single in the third was the first off Cain.
After Renteria’s hit, Sanchez sacrificed him to second. Buster Posey struck out swinging and former Phillies outfielder Pat Burrell walked. Ross followed with his single.
Transgender athletes are to have an ally in the White House next week, as they seek to participate as their identified gender in high school and college sports — although state legislatures, the US Congress and the courts are all expected to have their say this year, too. Attorneys on both sides say they expect US president-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Education to switch sides in two key legal battles — one in Connecticut, the other in Idaho — that could go a long way in determining whether transgender athletes are treated by the sex on their birth certificates or by
Fickle winds produced farcical scenes yesterday on day two of the America’s Cup challenger series in Auckland, as the so-called “flying” yachts spent almost as much time in the water as above it. “I’m not sure today is a really accurate read because it’s so puffy, it’s shifty,” British sailing legend Ben Ainslie said after his Ineos Team UK maintained their perfect start to the Prada Cup series with a third straight win. The series would determine which of the 23m yachts — which fly above the water balanced on hi-tech foil arms — would challenge defending champion Team New Zealand for
DOUBLE VISION: The men’s duo of Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin downed the South Korean pairing of Choi Sol-gyu and Seo Seung-jae to secure their place in the final Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying yesterday easily defeated Mia Blichfeldt in her women’s singles match to advance to the finals of the Yonex Thailand Open in Bangkok, while Chou Tien-chen crashed out of the tournament. Tai quickly ousted world No. 18 Blicheldt, of Denmark, in 34 minutes, winning 21-8, 23-21. The world No. 1 today must overcome Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain, who took down An Se-young of South Korea yesterday 21-18, 21-16. In men’s singles, Taiwan’s Chou fell to Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long after a tough 66 minutes of play. While Chou, the world No. 2, bested Ng in the first set,
World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying yesterday eased past her Thai opponent to advance to the second round of the Toyota Thailand Open. The Taiwanese star toppled world No. 46 Supanida Katethong 21-16, 21-11 in 29 minutes at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. “I think I played OK today. I am feeling a little better than last week,” Tai said. Tomorrow, Tai faces Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. The two have faced each other six times, with Tai beating the world No. 21 in all six matches. Tai on Sunday reached the final of the Yonex Thailand Open before losing decisively against Carolina Marin of Spain.