San Francisco - Rick Ankiel splashed a tiebreaking home run into McCovey Cove in the 11th inning for his first postseason circuit clout, and the comeback Atlanta Braves rallied from a late four-run deficit to beat the San Francisco Giants, 5-4, on Friday night.
The Braves earned 46 come-from-behind victories this season and did it again when it counted in October – with manager Bobby Cox watching from the clubhouse after his third career postseason ejection way back in the second inning.
Atlanta heads home to Turner Field for Game 3 on Sunday with the best-of-five NL division series tied at a game apiece. It’s the only first-round playoff series that is even after two games.
Kyle Farnsworth pitched 12/3 shutout innings for the victory, relieving in the 10th after closer Billy Wagner got hurt fielding a sacrifice bunt.
“We’re not going to write him off yet,” Cox said. “He’s probably done for this series, I’m not sure. It’s an oblique. For Billy to come off the mound it had to be hurting pretty bad. Obliques usually take a while.”
Farnsworth escaped a bases-loaded jam when Buster Posey grounded into an inning-ending double play that was started by Troy Glaus at third base.
Alex Gonzalez hit a tying, two-run double in the eighth against Giants closer Brian Wilson, who led the majors with 48 saves this season.
Ankiel’s drive on a 2-2 pitch from Ramon Ramirez was just the second splash homer in the postseason at 11-year-old AT&T Park. Home run king Barry Bonds hit the other one on Oct. 10, 2002, in Game 2 of the NLCS against St. Louis.