Athletics and Giants stay aliveUNDATED (AP) - The Oakland Athletics, after losing the first two games on the road, used the time-honored formula of good pitching, timely hitting and great defense in blanking Detroit 2-0 to cut the Tigers' lead to 2-1 in that AL Division Series.
Athletics left-hander Brett Anderson and three relievers combined on a four-hitter. Grant Balfour, who had 24 saves in the regular season, allowed a one-out single to Miguel Cabrera. But Balfour induced Prince Fielder to hit into a game-ending double play
Yoenis Cespedes drove in a run in the first inning with a single. Seth Smith added a homer for some insurance in the sixth.
Oakland turned in a couple of eye-popping defensive plays as well. Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp robbed Fielder of a homer in the second inning with a one-handed grab over the wall. In the seventh inning, Cespedes made a diving catch in left field to rob Fielder of a hit.
The San Francisco Giants also live for another day. Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, an eight-time Gold Glove award winner for his slick defensive play, booted a grounder in the 10th inning that allowed the winning run to score in the Giants' 2-1 victory over the Reds. Cincinnati holds a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five NL Division Series.
The Reds wasted a tremendous effort by starter Homer Bailey, who tossed a no-hitter two weeks ago. He didn't allow a San Francisco hit until there were two out in the sixth inning. That's when Marco Scutaro delivered a clean single. The Giants won despite striking out 16 times.
Game 4 is Wednesday afternoon at Great American Ball Park. The Giants send out 15-game winner Barry Zito to try and extend their season one more time. The Reds are unsure of their starter in the wake of Game 1 starter Johnny Cueto's strained oblique. Mike Leake and Mat Latos are possibilities.
The two other division series resume Wednesday. Baltimore and New York are tied at a game apiece in the AL Division Series following the Orioles' 3-2 victory Monday night. Miguel Gonzalez gets the nod in Game 3 Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium against Hiroki Kuroda, who won 16 games this year for the Yanks.
And the Cardinals and Nationals are dead even after the Cards' 12-4 win in Game 2 in St. Louis. The scene shifts to the Nation's Capital, which will host its first postseason baseball game in 79 years on Wednesday. Chris Carpenter goes for St. Louis against ex-Cardinal Edwin Jackson.
Rookie Shelby Miller has replaced pitcher Jaime Garcia on the Cards playoff roster. Garcia has a strained rotator cuff and inflammation in his throwing shoulder.
See other NationalSports news:Scoreboard Roundup - 3/7/14
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