(CINCINNATI) — Tim Lincecum came out of the bullpen and pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing two hits, striking out six and walking nobody, as the San Francisco Giants toppled the Cincinnati Reds 8-3, forcing a deciding Game 5.
Barry Zito started the game for San Francisco, but only lasted 2 2/3 innings allowing two runs. Lincecum entered the game in the fourth with the Giants leading 3-2.
“I knew he would play a huge role in this,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “And I know of other situations where starters have been in the `pen and really done a great job to help their team win. We knew Timmy would play a critical role in the series like he did tonight.”
Reds starter Mike Leake, who replaced injured starter Johnny Cueto on the postseason roster just five hours before the game, was roughed up allowing five runs in 4 1/3 innings. Because Cueto was replaced, he won’t be allowed to play again unless the Reds make the World Series.
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs for the Giants.
Game 5 is Thursday afternoon in Cincinnati. The Reds will send Mat Latos to the mound to oppose Matt Cain. First pitch is scheduled for 1:07pm eastern.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire