They piled on Joe Panik at home plate in celebration, and just as has been the case so many times before with everything on the line in October, San Francisco’s season was extended another day.
Panik doubled off the wall in right-center field to drive in Brandon Crawford with the winning run in the 13th inning, and the Giants staved off elimination by outlasting the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Monday night in Game 3 of their NL Division Series.
San Francisco won its 10th straight game when facing postseason elimination.
“There’s a sense of calmness,” Panik said. “It’s like we’ve been there before.”
Panik came through on the 57th pitch from Mike Montgomery, who was working his fifth inning of relief.
The wild-card Giants forced Tuesday night’s Game 4 back at their raucous, sold-out ballpark, postponing a potential Cubs clinch party. Chicago leads the best-of-five playoff series, 2-1, and will send John Lackey to the mound opposite Giants lefty Matt Moore.
“We played it hard, we played it right — and they beat us,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
Panik’s big hit ended a 5-hour, 4-minute game that was only 29 minutes shy of the total time taken to play the first two series games combined last week at Wrigley Field.
Rookie left-hander Ty Blach was the winner, escaping a 13th-inning jam when pinch-hitter David Ross bounced into a double play.
Kris Bryant hit a tying, two-run homer off closer Sergio Romo in the ninth inning after San Francisco rallied for three runs to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth against Aroldis Chapman.
Bryant’s drive hit the top of the left-field fence and bounced into the seats, silencing the orange towel-swirling crowd. The slugger received a warm hug of congratulations in the dugout from Chapman, who had just given up the lead. On a night when the focus was the marquee pitching matchup between Madison Bumgarner and Jake Arrieta, the bullpens decided this one hours later after a three-run homer from Arrieta in the second inning seemed it would hold up.