Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/17/11
David Freese struck the big blow with a three-run homer in the first inning and the St. Louis Cardinals pounded their way to an 18th pennant with a 12-6 victory over the host Milwaukee Brewers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday night.

Albert Pujols and Rafael Furcal added solo homers and Matt Holliday scored three times for the Cardinals, who will host Game 1 of the World Series against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.

Shaun Marcum (0-2) started for the Brewers and was in trouble right away, allowing two of the first three batters to reach. Lance Berkman followed with an RBI single to plate the first run and Freese came up two batters later.

The breakout star of the series got an inside changeup from Marcum on the first pitch and blasted it out to deep left. Freese finished a triple short of the cycle.

Marcum did not make it past the first, getting replaced by lefthander Chris Narveson to begin the second inning. Marcum, for whom the Brewers surrendered top prospect Brett Lawrie in an offseason trade, posted an 0-3 record with a 14.89 ERA in three postseason starts.

Narveson did not make it out of the third as the Cardinals piled on.

Edwin Jackson wasn’t much better for St. Louis, lasting just two innings. But as it has done throughout the series, the Cardinals’ bullpen proved to be up to the extra work.

Manager Tony La Russa used his bullpen liberally throughout the series and has been rewarded with a 1.88 ERA in 28 2/3 total innings. Fernando Salas (1-0) got credit for the win on Sunday.
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