Cards knock off Bucs, prep for Dodgers

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

St. Louis, Missouri It will be the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first two games of the National League Championship Series.

The Cardinals have advanced by taking Game 5 of the division series, using a pair of two-run homers and outstanding pitching to defeat the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1. The Redbirds went ahead to stay on a two-run homer by David Freeze in the second inning, his seventh career postseason round-tripper. Matt Adams added a two-run blast late in the game to cap the scoring.

Jon Jay padded the Cards' lead with an RBI single to make it 3-0 in the sixth, which appeared to be more than enough scoring the way Adam Wainwright was pitching. Wainwright had a two-hit shutout with two outs in the top of the seventh until the Pirates strung together three straight singles to break the ice. Pedro Alvarez got the Bucs on the board with an RBI single that ended Wainwright's shutout bid.

Wainwright went the distance on an eight-hitter while striking out five to get his 21st victory of the year and second of the series. Wainwright is 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA lifetime in the postseason.

Adams gave the Cardinals more breathing room with his first career postseason homer to make it 5-1 in the eighth. Pete Kozma's (KAHZ'-mahz) infield single drove in another run later in the eighth.

Pirates rookie starter Gerrit Cole was the hardluck loser, allowing just three hits in five innings.

Pittsburgh was trying to reach the NLCS for the first time since 1979.

The NLCS will begin Friday at Busch Stadium.

As far as play in the American League divisional playoffs is concerned, there is one game to go. The Tigers evened things up in their best-of-five series with the Athletics on Tuesday with an 8-6 win. The fifth and final game will be played Thursday night in Oakland with Justin Verlander pitching for the Tigers against Bartolo Colon.

The winner advances to the ALCS against the Red Sox, who eliminated the Rays Tuesday night.

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