CINCINNATI — Angel Pagan connects on the second pitch of the game. A Giants team that finished last in homers goes on to hit three. Tim Lincecum pitches like a two-time Cy Young winner — this time, out of the bullpen.
So many unusual things moved San Francisco to the verge of an unprecedented comeback.
Pagan hit the first leadoff homer in Giants postseason history, and Gregor Blanco and Pablo Sandoval connected later for an 8-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday that evened their National League Division Series at 2-all.
No team has recovered from a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-five series by winning three on the road, according to STATS LLC. This one can do it with a victory Thursday at Great American Ball Park.
‘‘Thanks to the win today, there will be a tomorrow,’’ Pagan said. ‘‘And we are ready for that.’’
Matt Cain, who lost the series opener and has yet to beat the Reds in three tries this season, will start Game 5 against Mat Latos.
Facing elimination, the Giants’ slumping hitters came out swinging and extended Cincinnati’s playoff misery. The Reds haven’t won a postseason game at home in 17 years.
One thing in the Reds’ favor — they haven’t dropped three straight at home all season.
‘‘I’d like to think that we still have the advantage,’’ Reds outfielder Jay Bruce said. ‘‘We’re at home. I expect Mat to come up with a big game. I’m looking forward to it.’’