Second baseman preserves lead in eighth with amazing catch before walk-off loss
By Alex Espinoza
Special to MLB.com |
SAN FRANCISCO -- For a little while Thursday afternoon, it appeared Howie Kendrick would be the hero of the series finale between the Dodgers and Giants. But San Francisco squashed those thoughts with its second walk-off win in as many days, completing a three-game sweep with a 3-2 comeback victory.
The Giants needed to conjure up some ninth-inning magic after Kendrick made a superb defensive play in the previous frame. Justin Maxwell came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth as the Dodgers clung to a 2-1 lead, drilling a line drive up the middle. But Kendrick quickly dived to his right and stabbed the ball out of mid-air, robbing Maxwell and keeping his team's one-run lead intact.
"I just reacted," Kendrick said. "Ball hit up the middle, I think those are the type of plays you don't really think about. You just react to the ball. I was able to make a snag to keep us in the game and I think that's what it's about."
Kendrick's highlight play meant there would be a save situation in the ninth. But Pedro Baez couldn't get the job done.
After giving up a leadoff single to Casey McGehee, Baez surrendered a game-tying RBI triple to Brandon Crawford. Maxwell eventually got his revenge on Kendrick and the Dodgers in the 10th, when he laced a single down the left-field line to score Angel Pagan and end the game.
Still, Kendrick acknowledged that his play saved the Dodgers when it happened.
"I guess it did at the time," Kendrick said. "At the same time, though, we'd rather have that win. It kept us alive for a couple other innings. We had our chances this series. We just hit some balls hard and things didn't go our way, but that's baseball."
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.