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Giants oust Cardinals in bottom of the ninth

Knight Ridder Newspapers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brace yourself, it's going to be a wild World Series.

The San Francisco Giants, who won the National League wild card, earned their first trip to the World Series since 1989 with a dramatic, come-from-behind 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Monday night in front of a frenzied sellout crowd at Pacific Bell Park.

The Giants will begin play in the World Series on Saturday night on the road against the Anaheim Angels, the American League wild-card team that earned its way to the sport's featured event by beating the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins.

The Giants needed more eighth-inning magic -- as well as a little ninth-inning hocus pocus -- to beat the Cardinals in this best-of-seven series.

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One night after Benito Santiago, the series MVP, won Game 4 with a two-run home run in the eighth, Barry Bonds tied the score, 1-1, with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly against Cardinals starter Matt Morris.

The Giants won the game in the bottom of the ninth inning on a two-out single by Kenny Lofton.

Lofton, picked up in July to bolster the Giants' outfield, hit reliever Steve Kline's first pitch into right field, scoring David Bell well ahead of J.D. Drew's off-line throw.

Bell started the rally with a two-out single off Morris. Shawon Dunston then kept the inning alive with a single, chasing Morris from the game.

The winning run ignited a party in the stands and all over the streets of San Francisco.

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