(BaseballStL) -- The Cardinals have beaten the odds, grabbed the Wild Card from the Braves, beat the "Dream Team" Phillies and now have beaten the Brewers to earn a trip back to the World Series.
The Redbirds lead the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday night in a 12-6 slugfest.
The game featured a flurry of home runs and runs scored as both starting pitchers got the hook early when managers from both benches went to their bullpens early.
The fireworks started right away. With the Cards already up 1-0 in the first, and just moments after Albert Pujols was thrown out at the plate, in a play that replays appeared to show he was safe, Cards third baseman Dave Freese launched a three-run homer to make it 4-0.
Later in the bottom of the first inning, Brewers lead-off hitter Corey Hart fired a shot over the center field wall to make the score 4-1.
In the second Rafael Furcal hits a homer into the left field bleachers to make the score 5-1. The Brewers responded with a solo shot from Rickie Weeks and a two-run shot from Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy and suddenly the score was 5-4.
In the third Albert Pujols jacked the third Cardinals homer of the game to be followed by some small ball with a flurry of hits, walks and more runs to take the score up to 9-4. Brewers respond with one run in the bottom of the third to make it 9-5.
In the fifth a pair of errors by the Brewers shortstop on a Yadier Molina hit helps turn this into a rout, and the inning ends with the Cards up 11-5.
Mark Rzepczynski takes the mound for the Cardinals in the fifth and holds the Brewers to one run and the score at 11-6.
Pujols knocked in another run in the eighth to make it 12-6.
If the Cardinals hold on the schedule for the World Series, Cards and Rangers:
Game 1- Wednesday in St. Louis
Game 2- Thursday in St. Louis
Game 3- Saturday in Texas
Game 4- Sunday in Texas
Game 5- Monday in Texas
Game 6- Wendesday in St. Louis
Game 7- Thursday in St. Louis