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Updated: October 9, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

St. Louis eliminates Pittsburgh, meets Dodgers in NLCS
ST. LOUIS, Missouri (USA) - Back at home in Busch Stadium in St. Louis and away from the loud noise in PNC Park in Pittsburgh, St. Louis Cardinals used the home advantage to win 6-1 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday (October 9). With this, the Cards won the NLDS 3-2 to clinch the National League Championship Series for the third year in a row. In the NLCS, St. Louis will face Los Angeles Dodgers, which qualified last Monday. The Cardinals don't have to travel for the first two games of the NLCS, as they will open at home, being the highest seed team in the National League. Game 1 of the best-of-seven will be played next Friday.

After being retired in order by Pittsburgh-starter Gerrit Cole in the first inning, the Cardinals opened the score in the second inning. With two outs, Jon Jay walked, then David Freese followed with a 2-run homerun.

The Cardinals were retired in order again in the third, then reached base again in the next at bat. With one out, Matt Adams and Yadier Molina singled, then both advanced when a throwing error followed. Hereafter, Adams was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a grounder by Jon Jay, then David Freese struckout to end the inning.

In the fifth inning, Cole retired the side for the third time, then was relieved by Justin Wilson in the sixth after he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the fifth. The Cardinals then added another run moments later. With one out, Matt Holliday singled and with two outs, Yadier Molina walked. Holliday then made it 3-0 when he scored on a following single by Jon Jay. This led to a new pitching change. Vin Mazzaro took over and closed the inning by striking out Freese.

Adam Wainwright dominated on the mound for the Cardinals. He was supported with fine defense, as the Cards turned three double plays. In the first inning, the righthander walked Neil Walker with one out, but then followed with a strikeout and a grounder left Walker behind.

In the second, Wainwright gave up a lead-off single to Marlon Byrd, but then a double play and flyout followed. Wainwright then retired the side in the third, fourth and fifth inning. In the sixth, Clint Barnes led off with a single for Pittsburgh. Next, pinch-hitter Garrett Jones flied out and then, the Cards turned their second double play to end the inning.

In the seventh inning, Pittsburgh finally was able to score a run. With two outs, Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd both singled, then Pedro Alvarez also singled to bring in Morneau. But a force out then closed the at bat.

After the Cardinals turned its third double play in the top of the eighth inning, they added three insurance runs in the home of the eighth. New pitcher Mark Melancon retired the first batter he faced, but then gave up a single to Matt Holliday, followed by a 2-run homerun by Matt Adams that made it 5-1. Next, Yadier Molina walked, but he was forced out on a grounder by Jon Jay. Daniel Descalso then singled and Jason Grilli was brought in as new pitcher. He was greeted with a single by Pete Kozma that made it 6-1.

Adam Wainwright returned the to mound in the ninth inning and got two quick outs, but then gave up singles to Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd. It didn't harm the righthander, as he struckout next batter Pedro Alvarez to end the game.

(October 9)

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