It will be the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first two games of the National League Championship Series.

The Cardinals have advanced to the NLCS for the third straight year by taking Game 5 of the division series, using a pair of two-run homers and outstanding pitching to defeat the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-1. The Redbirds went ahead to stay on a two-run homer by David Freese (freez) in the second inning, his seventh career postseason round-tripper.

Jon Jay padded the Cards' lead with an RBI single to make it 3-0 in the sixth, which appeared to be more than enough scoring the way Adam Wainwright was pitching. Wainwright had a two-hit shutout with two outs in the top of the seventh until the Pirates strung together three straight singles to break the ice. Pedro Alvarez got the Bucs on the board with an RBI single that ended Wainwright's shutout bid.

Wainwright went the distance, scattering eight-hits while striking out five to get his 21st victory of the year and second of the series. Wainwright is 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA lifetime in the postseason.

Matt Adams gave the Cardinals more breathing room with his first career postseason homer to make it 5-1 in the eighth. Pete Kozma's (KAHZ'-mahz) infield single drove in another run later that inning.

Pirates rookie starter Gerrit Cole was the hardluck loser, allowing two runs on just three hits in five innings.

St. Louis is 8-1 in elimination games the last three postseasons.

Pittsburgh was trying to reach the NLCS for the first time since 1979.

The NLCS will begin Friday at Busch Stadium.