The St. Louis Cardinals advanced to their fourth World Series in a decade by thumping the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Six of the National League Championship Series on Friday night at Busch Stadium, 9-0.
The St. Louis bats jumped all over NL Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw. The lefty starter allowed seven earned runs over four innings. The 25-year-old, who conceded just eight hits in the postseason, gave up 10 hits in Game Six.
The Cardinals led 9-0 after five innings, while the Dodgers failed to advance a base runner to third base over nine innings.
The Dodgers’ defense wasn’t much help, as multiple miscues helped extend the Cardinals’ rally. In the bottom of the fifth inning, second baseman Mark Ellis failed to handle a lightly hit ball in the infield with the bases loaded. Right fielder Yasiel Puig had two errors after five innings.
Carlos Beltran, who was the hero in the pivotal first game which went extra innings, had another strong game for St. Louis. The right fielder drove in two runs on a 3-for-4 performance.
“We did it as a team,” said Beltran, who is seeking his first World Series championship ring. “We fought hard all season long.”
Yadier Molina, David Freese, Mike Adams and Shane Robinson each had two hits for the Cardinals.
Manager Mike Matheny received an excellent effort from starter Michael Wacha. The 22-year-old allowed just a double and an infield single over seven innings to earn the win. Wacha also struck out five while only walking one. Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal each pitched perfect innings in relief.
Los Angeles failed to get production out of all but two batters, including Andre Ethier and Puig. The No. 5 and No. 6 batters were hitless in six at-bats, and combined to strike out four times.
The World Series drought for the Dodgers continues. Under new ownership, the Dodgers were big spenders in the offseason, but once again failed to reach the Fall Classic since winning the title in 1988.
The Cardinals will face the winner of American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. The Red Sox lead the ALCS, 3-2, with Game Six scheduled for Saturday.