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10/21/10 2:46 AM ET

Ross contributes again, with help from friends

Giants postseason star hit by pitch, initiates rally with double

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's gotten to the point where it's expected. There's no moving to the edge of your seat, no anticipation, no surprise.

It's just a fact: If Cody Ross is at the plate, he's going to produce a game-changing moment.

The Giants outfielder continued his unbelievable postseason Wednesday night at AT&T Park, going 1-for-3 with a double and being hit by a pitch, as the Giants beat the Phillies, 6-5, to take a 3-1 edge in the National League Championship Series.

"If he needs to get a hit, he's going to do it," Giants starter Madison Bumgarner said of Ross. "He's on right now. I don't know why they keep pitching to him, but he's been clutch for us here lately. He's been fun to watch."

What's left to be said about Ross that hasn't already been written? In eight postseason games, he's gone 9-for-26 with four home runs and seven RBIs and is without a doubt the main reason why the Giants now stand one win away from their first World Series since 2002.

Ross led off the second inning by getting hit by a Joe Blanton sinker, but was stranded as the Giants went down in order to end the inning.

After lining out in the fourth, Ross followed a walk by Pat Burrell with a sixth-inning double, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Pablo Sandoval knocked out a bases-clearing, opposite-field double to put the Giants up, 5-4.

"You saw tonight, if we get hits we can score some runs," Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff said.

Ross also reached in the seventh inning on an error by Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins to load the bases, but Sandoval ended the threat with an inning-ending double play.

It's almost fitting that Ross didn't stand out as much on Wednesday as he had in the series' first three games. With a thrilling walk-off win, fans across the country saw what Giants fans have known all along: On any given day, anyone in the Giants clubhouse can be the hero.

"It seems like all the baseball that's been talked about is on the East Coast," Huff said. "Everybody watching this game tonight saw exactly how we've played all year."

Now, thanks to Ross and a host of other castoffs, the Giants are one game away from the World Series.

"It's been an unbelievable ride, and hopefully it will keep going," Ross said after Game 3. "We got a lot of business to take care of still. I mean, we've still got these guys, this is one of the best teams in the league, and we've got to keep that momentum going and not let up, because these guys will come back and bite you if you don't."

Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.