Behind Adam Wainwright’s complete game and a pair of home runs from David Freese and Matt Adams, the St. Louis Cardinals shelved 2013’s team of destiny Wednesday, 6-1.
St. Louis advanced to the National League Championship Series for the third season in a row, eliminating the Washington Nationals last year despite a poor showing by Wainwright and defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011. The Cardinals, 8-1 in elimination games the past three seasons, extended the Pirates’ streak of not winning a postseason series since 1979.
With two runners on in the ninth inning, Wainwright threw a series of curveballs to strike out 3B Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh’s most effective postseason hitter. Alvarez led his team with slashes of .353 BA / .421 OBP / .941 SLG, with three home runs and six RBIs.
The Cardinals will remain at home to play the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday.