SAN FRANCISCO — Roy Halladay outdueled Tim Lincecum in a rematch of aces, keeping Philadelphia alive with a 4-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night that pulled the Phillies within 3-2 in the NL Championship Series.
Jayson Werth homered for an insurance run in the ninth, Placido Polanco hit an RBI single and the two-time reigning NL champions forced a Game 6 back home in Citizens Bank Park on Saturday and another cross-country trip.
Shane Victorino drove in the first of two runs that scored on Aubrey Huff's third-inning fielding error.
San Francisco put its celebration on hold. The Giants now must win once in two tries at Philly for the franchise's fourth pennant since moving West in 1958.
Third dooms Lincecum
One rough inning from Lincecum proved to be just enough to prevent the Giants from holding a pennant-clinching party on the shores of McCovey Cove.
The Giants will have two chances to recover from this defeat with Jonathan Sanchez set to start Game 6 against Roy Oswalt. Matt Cain, who hasn't allowed a run in two post-season starts, waits in Game 7, if necessary.
Lincecum pitched like the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner he is in his first two post-season starts. He started fast once again, retiring his first six batters. He even had the lead after the Giants managed to get to Halladay for an early run.
But the bad third inning was enough to spoil Lincecum's night.
Raul Ibanez, back in the lineup after a night off, singled to stop an 0-for-15 slump and get the Phillies started. Lincecum then hit Carlos Ruiz with a pitch — the record-tying fourth time Ruiz has been hit this post-season.
Halladay laid down a bunt that catcher Buster Posey picked up right near the plate. Posey threw to third, but Pablo Sandoval could not get back to the bag for the force. Halladay did not run, thinking it was a foul ball, and was easily thrown out at first.
Victorino followed with a hard grounder to first that hit off Huff's glove and into shallow center field, scoring two runs. Placido Polanco followed with an RBI single that made it 3-1.
Chase Utley followed with a single and Lincecum retired the next 11 batters before running into a little more trouble in the seventh. He escaped that jam.
Lincecum's 29 strikeouts in his first three post-season starts are tied with Sandy Koufax for the second-most — two behind Bob Gibson's record.