Giants beat Cardinals, reach WS

THE San Francisco Giants won their sixth elimination game this postseason to end the reign of the St. Louis Cardinals and reach the World Series for the second time in three years.

After two postseasons of being a team that refused to be eliminated, the Cardinals were unable to close out San Francisco on three straight tries, losing 9-0 to the Giants in Game 7 of the NL championship series Monday night (Tuesday in Manila).

The Giants also won three straight to beat the Cincinnati Reds in the division series.

An odd play in the third inning magnified the disappointment of the Cardinals.

The Giants led 2-0 at the time and had knocked out Kyle Lohse by loading the bases with no outs. Reliever Joe Kelly broke Pence’s bat at the label with a 95 mph fastball and rookie shortstop Pete Kozma moved to his right to field a possible double-play ball.

But the shattered barrel hit the ball two more times, putting an odd spin on the ball that sent it slicing in another direction and into left-center, fooling Kozma on the play.

”Pete moved to his right and all of a sudden the ball was to his left,” outfielder Matt Holliday said. ”It’s hard to field a ball when a guy hits it three times.”

Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval scored easily on the double and Buster Posey raced home from first to make it 5-0 when center fielder Jon Jay bobbled the ball for an error. The Giants tacked on two more runs in the inning, providing a deficit too big even for the comeback Cardinals to overcome.

After breaking out to a 3-1 series lead, the Cardinals were outscored 20-1 the rest of the series in a collapse reminiscent of the one this franchise endured in the 1996 NLCS when Atlanta outscored St. Louis 32-1 in the final three games. Noli Cruz


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