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Professional

Giants slam Reds, advance

Orioles outlast Yankees; Tigers trounce A’s, move on

By The Associated Press

Not just any comeback would get San Francisco back to playing for a pennant. It would take one of Giant proportions.

And Buster Posey believed it could happen. Even after the Giants left the West Coast down two games, the National League batting champion insisted his team could pull it off, despite the long odds.

With one swing, he got everyone else believing it, too.

Posey hit the third grand slam in Giants’ postseason history on Thursday in Cincinnati, and San Francisco pulled off an unprecedented revival, moving into the championship series with a 6-4 victory over the Reds.

“You don’t want to be in a lose-and-you’re-out scenario,” reliever Jeremy Affeldt said, wearing a brace on his left wrist so he didn’t hurt it in the champagne-flavored clubhouse celebration.

American League

Orioles 2, Yankees 1, 13 inn.: J.J. Hardy hit an RBI double in the 13th inning and the Baltimore Orioles bounced back from a demoralizing loss to outlast the Yankees in New York, forcing a deciding Game 5 in the AL division series.

After splitting 22 games this year, it all comes down this: a winner-take-all for a spot in the AL championship series.

Tigers 6, A’s 0: Justin Verlander struck out 11 in a four-hitter to send the Detroit Tigers back to the AL championship series, beating the Athletics in Oakland, Calif., in the decisive Game 5 of their division series.

After squandering two chances to clinch the series, including blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead in Game 4, Verlander became Detroit’s ultimate closer.

The Tigers will face either the New York Yankees or Baltimore Orioles, tied at 2-all heading into their Game 5 tonight in New York. Game 1 of the ALCS is scheduled for Saturday.

Verlander, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner and MVP, was so sharp nobody in the bullpen ever got up to throw. He struck out 22 in his wins on both ends of this nail-biting series.

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