Cardinals advance to World Series, await winner of Red Sox-Tigers

October 18, 2013 - 7:38 pm

Behind precocious rookie right-hander Michael Wacha and an offensive eruption against likely NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, the Cardinals routed the Dodgers, 9-0, to win the best-of-seven National League Championship Series, 4-2, and advance to the World Series. St. Louis will go on the road to take on either the Red Sox or the Tigers for Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday. Wacha, a 2012 first-round pick, was dazzling, firing seven shutout innings in which he permitted just two hits while striking out five and walking one. He logged 13 2/3 scoreless innings in two NLCS starts, and in three total postseason starts, the rookie is 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA, 22 strikeouts, four walks and just eight hits allowed in 21 innings. Kershaw, meanwhile, got roughed up for seven runs on 10 hits and two walks in just four innings. The left-hander stranded runners in scoring position in both the first and second innings, but proved unable to stem the tide in the third, when St. Louis rallied for four runs on five hits and a pair of walks. The Cardinals plated five more runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach. The Cardinals totaled 13 hits, with perennial postseason force Carlos Beltran notching three of those hits (a double and two singles) while driving in two and scoring one run. Yadier Molina, David Freese, Matt Adams and Shane Robinson all chipped in with multi-hit performances in an offensive eruption that was most notable for its balance. Now, St. Louis will prepare either to face the Tigers -- the team the Cardinals beat in the 2006 World Series -- or the Red Sox, who beat the Cards in 2004. This is the fourth trip to the Fall Classic for the Cardinals in the last 10 years, as they also won the 2011 World Series against the Rangers. With St. Louis wrapping up the NLCS, the Red Sox and Tigers will play Game 6 of the ALCS at 8:07 p.m. on Saturday. For a box score, click here.