10/18/10 1:08 AM ET
Ross clubs fourth playoff homer, third in NLCS
Giants outfielder ends no-no with blast in three straight games
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
In Game 1 of the NLCS, it was Roy Halladay's no-hit bid broken up by Ross' solo homer heroics in the third inning. Ross would strike again with another solo shot in the fifth, and those two RBIs out of the No. 8 spot were instrumental in the Giants' 4-3 win.In Game 4 of the NLDS against the Braves, Ross got the Giants on the board by breaking up Derek Lowe's no-no on the first pitch of the sixth. The Giants went on to clinch the NLCS berth with a 3-2 victory. Without Ross, it's questionable whether the Giants would be where they are right now, tied 1-1 in this best-of-seven set. "He's getting the pitches to hit," teammate Aubrey Huff said. "We're all getting them, but we're fouling them off and he's hitting them."
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With a .350 average (7-for-20) and six RBIs, including three game-winning RBIs, this postseason, Ross, who moved up to the No. 6 spot of manager Bruce Bochy's lineup Sunday night, has provided an incredible contribution. That he was plucked off the waiver-wire scrap heap from the Marlins, possibly in an effort to prevent the division-rival Padres from scooping him up, only makes his story all the more intriguing.
Ross is the fourth player in Major League history to hit his team's first three home runs in a postseason series. The others are: Babe Ruth (1926 World Series), Rusty Staub (1973 NLCS) and Willie Stargell (1979 World Series).Ross is also one of only four players in Giants history with at least four homers in a single postseason. Barry Bonds hit eight in 2002, Rich Aurilia hit six that same year and Jeffrey Leonard hit four in 1987. And to think Ross nearly hit No. 5 in the seventh inning, when he launched a fly ball about 400 feet out to center. Shane Victorino hauled it in near the warning track.
As this series shifts to San Francisco, the Phillies are paying more attention to Ross than ever."If you can make your pitches, you are going to do well," Oswalt said. "But if you miss down and in, that's pretty much where he's hitting them."