Adam Wainwright became the first Cardinals pitcher since Chris Carpenter throw a complete-game victory in a winner-take-all game as St. Louis moves on to the NLCS with a 6-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
David Freese turned back the clock for some heroics as his second-inning, two-run homer put the Redbirds on the board. After Jon Jay’s single gave the Cards a three-run lead, the Pirates responded in the seventh with a Pedro Alvarez RBI-single.
St. Louis blew the game open in the eighth with a two-run homer by Matt Adams and a Pete Kozma RBI-single in the infield.
Wainwright scattered eight hits and struck out six including the final batter, Alvarez, swinging at a curveball.
The Cardinals are heading to the League Championship series for the third straight season, and eighth time in 14 years.
St. Louis will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in the best-of-seven series beginning Friday night on the Zimmer Sports Network.