Giants, Cardinals Advance to National League Championship Series

Joe Panik scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on Aaron Barrett's bases-loaded wild pitch, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Tuesday night to return to the NL Championship Series.

The wild-card Giants took Game 4 in the best-of-five Division Series and eliminated the Nationals by scoring on a bases-loaded walk, a groundout and a wild pitch. Hunter Pence turned in a defensive gem in right field.

Santiago Casilla put the potential tying run aboard in the ninth on a two-out walk to Bryce Harper, then retired Wilson Ramos on a grounder to end it. Casilla was mobbed on the mound as fireworks shot off from the center-field scoreboard.

In St. Louis, Matt Adams and the Cardinals are moving on. Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers are going home. Again.

St. Louis tagged Kershaw in the seventh inning for the second straight time, riding Adams' go-ahead, three-run homer to a 3-2 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday and a fourth consecutive trip to the NL Championship Series.

"I don't think I touched the ground the whole way around the bases," Adams said. "Definitely the highlight of my career. ... I will never, ever forget this."

The Cardinals again shocked ace Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, and are headed to their fourth consecutive NLCS, writes SweetSpot's David Schoenfield. Story

"The season ended and I was a big part of the reason why," Kershaw said. "I can't really put it into words, Just bad deja vu all over again."

Following their 3-1 win in the best-of-five series, the Cardinals get set for San Francisco in the opener of the NLCS, which starts Saturday at Busch Stadium.

Trevor Rosenthal allowed two runners in the ninth before getting Carl Crawford on a game-ending groundout for his third save of the series. At AT&T Park in San Francisco, fans cheered when the rival Dodgers were eliminated.

"It was awesome, everything we did throughout that game," starter Shelby Miller said. "It was a heck of a game and a lot of fun, I know that."