Giants top Nationals 2-1 in 18-inning marathon

Giants top Nationals 2-1 in 18-inning marathon

Giants 2, Nationals 1 (18): Pablo Sandoval's RBI double with two outs in the ninth inning forged a tie before Brandon Belt homered to lead off the 18th as visiting San Francisco won the longest postseason game in major-league history to seize a 2-0 advantage in its National League Division Series.

After going 0-for-6 with two strikeouts, Belt made amends in the final frame by depositing a 3-2 fastball from Tanner Roark (0-1) into the upper deck in right field. Rookie Hunter Strickland retired the side in the bottom of the frame to notch the save and make a winner of Yusmeiro Petit (1-0), who allowed one hit and struck out seven over six scoreless relief innings.

Sandoval's timely double extended his postseason hitting streak to 13 games - two shy of the NL record. Buster Posey collected three hits and Tim Hudson struck out eight over 7 1/3 solid innings for the Giants, who vie for their NL-best 11th straight postseason victory when they host Game 3 on Monday.

Jordan Zimmermann retired 20 straight batters and exited after 8 2/3 innings while Anthony Rendon ripped an RBI single among his four hits for NL East-champion Washington. Asdrubal Cabrera doubled and scored in the third inning before being ejected in the 10th.

After tossing the first no-hitter in Nationals history during the regular-season finale, Zimmermann breezed throughSan Francisco's lineup before issuing a two-out walk to rookie Joe Panik in the ninth. Drew Storen relieved Zimmermann and promptly allowed a single by Posey before Sandoval slapped an 0-1 sinker into the left-field corner - allowing Panik to score easily before Posey was gunned down at the plate on a relay throw from shortstopIan Desmond.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Saturday's marathon lasted 6 hours, 23 minutes to set a major-league record, eclipsing the 5-hour, 50-minute contest that saw Houston need 18 innings to secure a 7-6 victory over Atlanta in Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS. ... Both starters settled for no-decisions despite each allowing one run as Hudson yielded seven hits while Zimmermann scattered three and struck out six. ... Rendon opened the scoring with two outs in the third inning by sending a 1-1 sinker from Hudson into left field to plate Cabrera. Rendon's four-hit performance was the first in franchise history - including both the Montreal Expos and Nationals. ... Cabrera and manager Matt Williamswere ejected by home plate umpire Vic Carapazza after arguing balls and strikes in the 10th inning. Cabrera took issue with the called second strike before slamming his bat and helmet down after the third.

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