Yarrow's grand slam leads AZL Giants

Laney pitches Dodgers past Rangers to reach championship

By MLB.com | August 30, 2011 3:45 PM ET

They may be far away from the Majors, but the Giants and Dodgers will soon get a quick lesson in one of baseball's biggest rivalries.

University of San Francisco alum Stephen Yarrow slugged a grand slam, his second homer in as many days, as the Giants beat the Reds, 9-3, to advance to the Arizona League Championship Series on Wednesday.

The Dodgers also advanced when they beat the Rangers, 3-2, to claim victory in their one-game semifinal in Surprise, Ariz.

Yarrow's sixth-inning slam off Jose Amezcua was part of the Giants' six-run rally to break a 2-2 tie. New York native Michael Mergenthaler fell a homer shy of the cycle and knocked in two runs and Texas Tech product Kelby Tomlinson scored twice and knocked in another.

Right-hander Clayton Blackburn started for the Giants and allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings for the win. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

Reds starter Justice French was charged with five runs on nine hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings, striking out two.

Steven Selsky, Brennan May and Josef Terry drove in runs for the Reds, who went 31-25 during the regular season.

In Surprise, Matt Laney struck out eight in his fifth professional start, holding the Rangers to two runs -- one earned -- on four hits and a walk as the Los Angeles affiliate held on for a 3-2 win. Brant Stickel, Steve Matre and Jason West pieced together the final three frames to seal up the victory.

Devin Shines went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a pair of RBIs for the Dodgers and switch-hitting first baseman Matt Leeds knocked home one for the Rangers.

Abel De Los Santos started and allowed two runs on four hits over three innings before lefty Andrew Faulkner gave up the third run on two hits and a walk over 1 2/3 frames for Texas.

Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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