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Cardinals Clinch Ticket to Beantown

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Scott Rolen (left) and So Taguchi get soaked with champagne after the Cardinals clinched the Pennant Thursday night. (UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO –

The St. Louis Cardinals are headed to the World Series for the first time in 17 years.

They beat the Astros 5-2 in game seven of the National League Championship Series. It's the Redbirds first pennant since 1987, and they'll try to win their first World Series championship since 1982.

Astros pitcher Roger Clemens had the Redbirds' number until the sixth inning, when he gave up three runs, including a two-run home run to Scott Rolen.

The Cardinals are also the first team from the newer National League Central Division to go to the World series. Albert Pujols was named MVP of the Championship Series.

Cardinals starting pitcher Jeff Suppan held the Astros to three hits and two runs while going six strong innings for the win. Clemens also went six innings but was denied a trip to the World Series. The Astros have never made the World Series in their 43-year history.

St. Louis is the seventh different National League to win the pennant in the last seven years.

The Cardinals play at Boston in Game One of the World Series Saturday night. It marks the third time these two teams have met in the World Series. The Cardinals have won both previous match-ups, in 1946 and 1967.

To hear NPR's Renee Montagne interview with Stan McNeal of the St. Louis-based Sporting News, click on the 'listen' icon above.

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