Cardinals crush Dodgers to reach World Series

Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:27pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - The St. Louis Cardinals advanced to the World Series with a resounding 9-0 win over Los Angeles on Friday as rookie Michael Wacha outpitched Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw to seal the National League Championship Series 4-2.

The Cardinals, who won the most recent of their 11 World Series titles in 2011, claimed their record 19th NL pennant and will face the Boston Red Sox or Detroit Tigers of the American League for the Major League Baseball crown.

St. Louis erupted for four runs in the third when they sent 10 men to the plate and batted around again in the fifth to add five more runs, turning Game Six into a rout and sending their red-clad fans into a handkerchief-waving frenzy.

Wacha extended his brilliant run by shutting the Dodgers down on two hits over seven innings for the win and was named Most Valuable Player of the series. He walked one and struck out five as the Cardinals out-hit Los Angeles 13-2.

The 22-year-old has yielded just one run in his three postseason starts, giving up eight hits in 21 innings while striking out 22 and exhibiting extraordinary poise.

"I was up all night, basically thinking about the game, the anxiety was at the highest," said Wacha, who also outpitched Kershaw in the Cardinals' 1-0 Game Two victory. "It was hard to calm myself down to get my sleep."

Kershaw, who led the National League in earned run average this season for the third year in a row, was roughed up for 10 hits in four-plus innings and charged with seven runs.

The 25-year-old Dodgers lefthander, considered the frontrunner for this season's Cy Young Award, threw 48 pitches in the third inning alone.

Leading the St. Louis attack, which generated only 12 runs over the first five games, were Carlos Beltran with three hits and two runs batted in, and Shane Robinson, who made the most of a rare start in centerfield by collecting two hits and RBIs.   Continued...

 
Oct 18, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (middle) celebrates in the clubhouse with his teammates after game six of the National League Championship Series baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports