Giants advance in grand fashion

Washington forces a Game 5 with a walk-off home run

Buster Posey follows the flight of his grand slam in the fifth inning of Thursday’s Game 5 in the NLDS. The Giants won 6-4 and swept their three games in Cincinnati to finish an improbable comeback. Enlarge photo

David Kohl/Associated Press

Buster Posey follows the flight of his grand slam in the fifth inning of Thursday’s Game 5 in the NLDS. The Giants won 6-4 and swept their three games in Cincinnati to finish an improbable comeback.

CINCINNATI – Buster Posey hit the third grand slam in Giants’ postseason history, and San Francisco completed its startling comeback by holding off the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 on Thursday in the decisive Game 5 of the NL division series.

The Giants won the final three games, all in Cincinnati, and advanced to the NL championship series. They will face either St. Louis or Washington.

Nationals 2, Cardinals 1

WASHINGTON – The Washington Nationals signed Jayson Werth to show them how to win. His game-ending homer Thursday night extended their surprising season.

Werth led off the bottom of the ninth inning by driving Lance Lynn’s 13th pitch into the left-field stands to give the Nationals a one-run victory over the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals and force a Game 5 in their NL division series.

As he circled the bases, Werth raised his right index finger in a “No. 1” gesture, while the announced crowd of 44,392 roared with delight.

ALDS

NEW YORK – With midnight approaching, the Baltimore Orioles’ bats awoke for one more improbable rally.

Now they have a last shot to finally overtake the New York Yankees.

J.J. Hardy hit an RBI double in the 13th inning, and Baltimore bounced back from a demoralizing loss to outlast the Yankees 2-1 on Thursday night, forcing a deciding Game 5 in the AL division series.

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

Tigers 6, Athletics 0

OAKLAND, Calif. – Already an ace and MVP, Justin Verlander proved to be the Detroit Tigers’ ultimate closer, too.

Verlander struck out 11 in a four-hitter, pitching Detroit into a second consecutive AL championship series a day after closer Jose Valverde failed to hold a ninth-inning lead with a win against Oakland in the decisive Game 5 of their division series.

Nick Wass/Associated Press 
Facing elimination, Jayson Werth gave the Washington Nationals a lift with a walk-off home run to lead off the ninth for a 2-1 victory and force a Game 5 in the NLDS against the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals. Enlarge photo

Nick Wass/Associated Press Facing elimination, Jayson Werth gave the Washington Nationals a lift with a walk-off home run to lead off the ninth for a 2-1 victory and force a Game 5 in the NLDS against the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals.

J.J. Hardy’s RBI double in the 13th inning gave the Baltimore Orioles a 2-1 victory and one last chance to knock off the New York Yankees. They’ll play Game 5 today at Yankee Stadium. Enlarge photo

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

J.J. Hardy’s RBI double in the 13th inning gave the Baltimore Orioles a 2-1 victory and one last chance to knock off the New York Yankees. They’ll play Game 5 today at Yankee Stadium.

It took five games, and Justin Verlander was every bit the ace the Detroit Tigers needed Thursday to knock off the underdog Oakland Athletics. He struck out 11 in a 6-0 complete-game victory. Enlarge photo

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

It took five games, and Justin Verlander was every bit the ace the Detroit Tigers needed Thursday to knock off the underdog Oakland Athletics. He struck out 11 in a 6-0 complete-game victory.

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