The St. Louis Cardinals reached their third consecutive National League Championship Series after a comprehensive 6-1 victory over Pittsburgh in a decisive NLDS Game Five.
Adam Wainwright produced a dominant pitching display at Busch Stadium, with the two-time World Series winner working all nine-innings for just a solitary run at the top of the seventh.
At that stage, St. Louis were already three-runs ahead thanks to David Freese’s two-run homer in the second and Matt Holliday scoring off a singe from Jon Jay in the sixth.
Victory was secured in the eighth inning, when Matt Adams hit a two-run HR and then Jay scored off a Pete Kozma single.
Whilst playing for the NL pennant is a familiar feeling for the Cards, the celebrations after victory were genuine after Mike Matheny’s side were pushed all the way by the underdog Pirates.
"Every time we turned around, Wainwright got in the way tonight," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle in the aftermath of defeat.
"Obviously, this club here, the St. Louis Cardinals organisation has gotten used to this. The sustainability is what separates great organisations."
The Cardinals’ reward for their success is a potential seven-game series against the LA Dodgers, who beat the Atlanta Braves in four games to reach the NLCS.
In the American League, the Boston Red Sox will face the winners of tonight’s Detroit-Oakland decider for the pennant.