Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma had two-out, two-run singles as the St. Louis Cardinals rallied for four runs in the ninth inning to beat the Washington Nationals 9-7 and reach the National League Championship Series.
The defending World Series champion Cardinals trailed 6-0 after three innings in the decisive Game 5 of the Major League Baseball playoff series. They trailed 7-5 entering the ninth inning.
The Cardinals, who captured the series three games to two, moved on to face the San Francisco Giants in the championship series.
In the American League, CC Sabathia pitched a four-hitter last night as the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 to wrap up their division playoff and advance to the AL Championship Series beginning tonight in New York against the Detroit Tigers.
Rookie Bryce Harper broke out of his batting slump with a home run and a run-scoring triple as the Nationals scored three runs in the first and three more in the third.
Harper, 19, who entered the game hitting .056 in the postseason after having a .270 batting average during the regular season, tripled in a run in the first inning and then scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s home run. In the third, Harper’s home run and a two-run homer by Michael Morse made it 6-0.
The Cardinals scored one in the fourth inning on a run- scoring double by Matt Holliday and added two runs in the fifth on a wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk.
St. Louis pulled within 6-4 on a run-scoring groundout by Holliday in the seventh inning, and within a run on Descalso’s leadoff home run in the eighth.
Washington’s Kurt Suzuki made it 7-5 in the eighth with a run-scoring single.
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