Atlanta Braves Rick Ankiel hits a solo home run in the eleventh inning of Game 2 of the National League Division Series baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco, Friday, Oct. 8, 2010. The Braves beat the Giants 5-4 in eleven innings. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Once upon a time, he couldn't pitch. Now, apparently, he can surely pitch. Rick Ankiel sunk an 11th-inning homer in McCovey Cove to bring the Atlanta Braves into a tie at 1-1 for the NLDS. The next game is Sunday in Atlanta.
Adding to the 'fun' was Derrek Lee -- a mid-season pickup for the Braves that paid solid dividends in this first round of the playoffs -- who went two-for-five with two runs scored.
Alex Gonzalez hit a tying, two-run double off closer Brian Wilson and the Atlanta Braves' bats woke up just in time to send Game 2 of their NL division series against the San Francisco Giants to extra innings tied at 4 on Friday night.
After being held to one unearned run in the first 16 innings of the series, the Braves erased a 4-1 deficit in the eighth inning of Game 2 as they tried to avoid falling into a 2-0 series hole.
Derrek Lee started the rally with a leadoff single against Sergio Romo and went to third on Brian McCann's single. The Giants then called on Wilson, who has never had a six-out save in his career, according to STATS LLC. Wilson did lead the majors this season with 10 saves of longer than an inning but he couldn't come through in his first career postseason appearance.
He got Melky Cabrera to hit a slow roller toward third that scored Atlanta's second run. Pablo Sandoval's throw to first pulled Aubrey Huff off the bag for an error, but Cabrera looked as though he would have beaten the throw anyway.
After a sacrifice bunt by Brooks Conrad, Gonzalez tied it with his double to left-center. Gonzalez had just two hits in 41 at-bats over his past 12 games before coming through against Wilson.
The Giants' bullpen had thrown 24 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings since late in the regular season before the eighth-inning meltdown.
Braves manager Bobby Cox wasn't around for the rally, having been ejected in the second inning for arguing a call at first base. It was the third career postseason ejection to go along with a record 158 in the regular season for the 69-year-old Cox, who is retiring after the season.
Selected Reading: The Associated Press