CINCINNATI — The season isn’t over yet for the San Francisco Giants.
Buster Posey singled leading off the 10th inning and later scored on an error by Cincinnati Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, lifting the Giants to a tense 2-1 victory in Game 3 of the National League Division Series.
Cincinnati now leads the series two games to one.
The irony of the finish is that Rolen was in the lineup instead of NL Rookie of the Year candidate Todd Frazier primarily for his defense. Before the game, Reds manager Dusty Baker said, “In the postseason, most of the games are going to be close. You’re going to need defense. Keeping Frazier out right now is very tough.”
In the 10th, Posey and Hunter Pence singled off Jonathan Broxton. With two outs, a passed ball moved the runners to second and third. Rolen bobbled Joaquin Arias’ slow roller for an error, and Posey scored to put San Francisco ahead.
Ryan Vogelsong, making his first career postseason start for San Francisco, allowed just one run on three hits in five innings, and four Giants relievers combined to shutout Cincinnati over the next six innings.
Right-hander Homer Bailey, an emergency starter in a revamped Reds rotation with Johnny Cueto out due to an oblique strain, limited the Giants to one run and one hit through seven innings while matching his career high with 10 strikeouts.
Bailey, who no-hit the Pirates on Sept. 28, was dominant early in Tuesday’s game, retiring the first six batters, three straight via strikeout. He also struck out the side in the fifth.
San Francisco’s first hit was Marco Scutaro’s two-out single in the sixth inning.
Vogelsong elevated his pitch count in the first inning when he gave up one run, three hits and a walk over 30 pitches. Jay Bruce’s RBI single drove home Zack Cozart with the game’s first run.
The inning could’ve been worse for the Giants had Brandon Phillips not been thrown out by catcher Posey while trying to reach third on an errant pitch after stealing second.
San Francisco tied the score 1-1 in the third without a hit. Gregor Blanco was hit by a pitch, and Brandon Crawford walked. After Vogelsong bunted the runners to second and third, Blanco scored on Angel Pagan’s sacrifice fly.
Vogelsong settled down after the first, retiring six consecutive batters in one stretch with three strikeouts. He walked Joey Votto and Ryan Ludwick with two outs in the third but got Bruce to fly out to left.
Vogelsong wound up throwing 95 pitches in five innings before he was lifted for a pinch hitter. He didn’t give up a run or a hit after the first inning.
The Reds stranded four runners in the first three innings, seven in the game.
NOTES: Cueto has a mild right oblique strain that could cause him to miss the National League Championship Series. Cueto, who left Game 1 of the NLDS after throwing just eight pitches, originally was diagnosed with back spasms. Among the candidates to replace him in the rotation Wednesday is right-hander Mike Leake, who is not on the postseason roster. If healthy, Cueto could pitch in the World Series. … Tuesday’s game was played before 44,501 fans, the second-largest crowd in Great American Ball Park history. … The Giants’ 9-0 loss Sunday in Game 2 of the series was the largest shutout defeat in the postseason in franchise history. “The first game, we hit the ball well,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday. “In the second game, we ran into a pretty well-pitched ballgame.” … Bochy has tabbed Barry Zito to start Wednesday’s Game 4. The Giants won the last 11 games in which Zito pitched. Posey likely will catch Zito, Bochy said.