Rick Ankiel homers in 11th as Braves draw even with Giants

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We might just have ourselves a competitive series here.

The Braves evened things up with the Giants tonight — or this morning,
really — taking Game 2 by the score of 5-4 in 11 innings. They jumped
ahead thanks to a long solo home run by Rick Ankiel, which splashed down
in McCovey Cove beyond the right field fence.

The Giants were actually in great position to win in the bottom of the
10th inning, as Edgar Renteria led off with a bunt single, testing the
hobbled Troy Glaus at third base. After Andres Torres sacrificed him
over to second base, Billy Wagner was removed from the game due to an
oblique injury. Kyle Farnsworth entered and hit Freddy Sanchez with a
pitch and walked Aubrey Huff to load the bases for Buster Posey. It pretty easy to think the worst.

Farnsworth was able to induce a groundball to Glaus at third, but instead of going the safe route and throwing home, he made the do-or-die decision to go for the double-play by throwing to second base. Incredibly, it worked. Just barely. Inning over. Without a doubt, the key play of the ballgame.

With the series now knotted up at 1-1, the Braves return home for Game 3 on Sunday. Tim Hudson will square off against Jonathan Sanchez.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.