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Classic before the Fall Classic



Published: Fri, October 20, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Yadier Molina hit a two-homer in the ninth to help propel the Cardinals into the World Series.

NEW YORK (AP) -- No way anybody was catching Yadier Molina's ninth-inning shot. And by the time it landed beyond the left-field fence, the St. Louis Cardinals were headed to the World Series.

Molina's tie-breaking homer and another Game 7 gem by Jeff Suppan helped St. Louis overcome Endy Chavez's astounding grab, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday night for the NL championship.

Adam Wainwright wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth, striking out St. Louis nemesis Carlos Beltran to end it and leaving a stunned crowd in deflated silence just moments after it had Shea Stadium shaking.

And with that, the Cardinals earned their second pennant in three years and a date with the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.

Hey Motown, here come the Cards.

Molina, a .216 career hitter with only six home runs during the regular season, drove the first pitch he saw from reliever Aaron Heilman into New York's bullpen for a 3-1 lead in the ninth.

Chavez, who made one of the most memorable postseason catches just three innings earlier, could only stand and watch at the fence as the Mets' World Series hopes were dashed.

Scott Rolen, robbed of a homer by Chavez in the sixth, got the St. Louis rally started with a single.

ST. LOUISNEW YORK

abrhbiabrhbi

Eckstin ss3010JBRyes ss5000

PrWlsn lf3000L Duca c4000

Spiezio ph1000AHrndz pr0000

Tguchi lf0000Beltran cf4110

Pujols 1b2000CDlgdo 1b1000

JEcrcn rf4000Wright 3b4011

Edmnd cf3110ShGren rf3000

Rolen 3b4110Vlentin 2b3010

YMolna c4122Chavez lf4010

Blliard 2b3011OlPrez p2000

Suppan p2000Brdford p0000

Flors p0000Tucker ph1000

Rdrgez ph1000Heilmn p0000

Wnwrgt p0000CFloyd ph1000

Totals30363Totals32141

St. Louis010000002--3

New York100000000--1

E--Rolen (2), CDelgado (3). DP--New York 2. LOB--St. Louis 6, New York 11. 2B--Eckstein (1), Beltran (1). HR--YMolina (2). S--Belliard, Suppan.

IPHRERBBSO

St. Louis

Suppan721152

Flores W,1-0100002

Wainwright S,2120012

New York

OlPerez641124

Bradford100000

Heilman L,0-1222213

Suppan pitched to 1 batter in the 8th. HBP--by OlPerez (Eckstein), by Suppan (Valentin). Umpires--Home, Tim Welke; First, Jim Joyce; Second, Jerry Layne; Third, Fieldin Culbreth; Left, Jeff Kellogg; Right, Gary Darling. T--3:23. A--56,357.




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