Sanders Leads Cards Past Astros, 5-3

There's a new Mister October in the baseball playoffs.

Reggie Sanders (search) hit a two-run homer, extending his torrid post-season run, and Chris Carpenter (search) kept pitching out of trouble to lead the St. Louis Cardinals (search) past the Houston Astros (search) 5-to-3 in Game One of the NL championship series tonight.

The Cardinals kept up the pattern of home-field dominance that held up throughout last year's NLCS against the Astros. The home team won every game, giving St. Louis a seven-game victory and a trip to the World Series.

In the league's first championship rematch since 1992, the Cardinals again got the upper hand on their Central Division rival, a team they finished eleven games ahead of. But they have to get by the Astros again for a chance at World Series redemption after their four-game sweep by the Boston Red Sox (search) in 2004.