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MLB: San Francisco 6, Cincinnati 4

  |   Oct. 11, 2012 at 8:52 PM
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CINCINNATI, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Buster Posey hit a grand slam homer during a six-run fifth Thursday, vaulting San Francisco into the NL Championship Series with a 6-4 win over Cincinnati.

The Giants became the first team to win a division series after losing the first two games at home and they will now take on either Washington or St. Louis for the National League pennant.

The Nationals evened their division series with the Cardinals at 2-2 thanks to a 2-1 win in Washington Thursday.

Mat Latos started for Cincinnati, having thrown 4 1/3 innings of relief in the opener of the series after Johnny Cueto suffered an injury in the first frame.

Latos worked out of a first-inning jam on Thursday and appeared to settle in after that while allowing a lone hit during the second, third and fourth.

Things unraveled in a hurry in the fifth, however, when Gregor Blanco led off the inning with a single and promptly scored the game's first run on a Brandon Crawford triple.

After pitcher Matt Cain grounded out, Angel Pagan reached base on a fielding error at shortstop by Zack Cosart that allowed Crawford to score.

Latos then walked Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval singled to load the bases. That brought up Posey, who hit a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left-center for the game's big blow.

Cincinnati battled back on a two-run double by Brandon Phillips in the sixth, a solo homer from Ryan Ludwick in the sixth and Ludwick's RBI single in the ninth.

The Reds had the tying runs on base with one out in the ninth, but Sergio Romo retired both Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen to end the game and preserve the win for Cain.

Cincinnati outhit San Francisco 12-9. The Reds have not won a post-season series in 17 years.

The Giants will be playing in their sixth NLCS, having last done so two years ago when they went on to win the World Series.

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MLB Post-season 2012
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San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey hits a grand slam in the fifth inning of game 5 of their NL Divisional Playoff against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Oh, on October 11, 2012. UPI/Mark CowanSan Francisco Giants 2B Marco Scutaro (R) holds up his MVP trophy in the driving rain after the Giants defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in game seven of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park in San Francisco on October 22, 2012. The Giants defeated the Cardinals 9-0 and move on to play the Detroit Tigers in the World Series UPI/Terry Schmitt
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