SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Travis Ishikawa hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, sending the San Francisco Giants to the World Series with a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.
These every-other-year Giants clinched the NL Championship Series in Game 5 and now will face the Royals in an all wild-card Fall Classic that begins Tuesday night in Kansas City.
Pablo Sandoval singled to start the ninth against Michael Wacha, making his first appearance of the postseason for the Cardinals. After an out, Brandon Belt walked to bring up Ishikawa, who drove a 2-0 pitch into the elevated seats in right field.
Ishikawa hit the first game-ending homer in NLCS history. And it was the first time a homer sent the Giants into the World Series since perhaps the most famous drive ever in baseball — Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” in a 1951 playoff.
Ishikawa knew right away on his first career postseason homer, raising his right arm into the air as he watched his ball sail into the seats. He was immediately mobbed at home plate after he rounded the bases as fireworks shot off from the center field scoreboard.
Pinch-hitter Michael Morse homered leading off the eighth against Pat Neshek, who replaced Adam Wainwright to start the inning, to tie it 3-all.
Morse was batting for Madison Bumgarner, who was named NLCS MVP.