Published February 05, 2015
San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Travis Ishikawa stroked a dramatic three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday night to lead the San Francisco Giants into the World Series for the third time in five years. The 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series included three home runs by the Giants, who had gone six games -- and 242 plate appearances -- without one, surviving most of the time on mishmash rallies. Two of the home runs came after the Cardinals pulled Adam Wainwright despite their ace retiring the last 10 batters he faced, including six on strikeouts. Michael Morse, batting for series MVP Madison Bumgarner, tied the game with a pinch-hit homer off Pat Neshek leading off the eighth inning. After Jeremy Affeldt (1-0) cleaned up Santiago Casilla's bases-loaded, two-out mess in the top of the ninth, the Cardinals sent 2013 NLCS MVP Michael Wacha (0-1) to the mound in the bottom of the inning for his first appearance in 20 days. Pablo Sandoval led off with a single, Brandon Belt drew a one-out walk and Ishikawa looked at two balls before lining a 96 mph fastball into the seats above right field. The Giants won the last three games of the series and will face the AL-champion Royals in the World Series beginning with Game 1 on Tuesday in Kansas City. The Royals swept Baltimore to reach the Fall Classic for the first time in 29 years and have not lost since making the playoffs as an 89-win wild-card team.