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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yankees Take Pennant, Cards on Verge

BALTIMORE -- Back after a 15-year drought, the longest in team history, New York won its 34th American League title with a 6-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. They will face either St. Louis or Atlanta in the World Series beginning Saturday night at Yankee Stadium. The St. Louis Cardinals are favorites after taking a 3-1 lead in the series.

Powered by a three-homer third inning and eight strong innings from Andy Pettitte in Sunday's game, New York took the series 4-1 by winning three straight games at Camden Yards to finish 9-0 in Baltimore this year.

Manager Joe Torre was mobbed by his coaches when John Wetteland ended the Orioles' season by getting Cal Ripken to ground to short for the final out.

New York did it with two new stars, Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter, and two old ones, Cecil Fielder and Darryl Strawberry.

Named the series MVP, Williams hit .474 (9-for-19) with two homers and six RBIs.

Williams, mostly unknown outside New York, emerged as a star in his first appearance on a national stage. He's been a leader for the Yankees all season and is only now receiving the attention he deserves.

After winning Game 1 in New York with the help of a 12-year-old fan, and then winning 5-2 at Camden Yards with a shocking four-run eighth inning, the Yankees wrapped up the series with two conventional wins.

They outslugged the Orioles, who set a major-league record with 257 homers during the regular season. New York hit four homers in Game 4 to win 8-4 and three more in Game 5, all three coming in the third inning as they took a 6-0 lead.

The Yankees all but wrapped up the series in the third inning against Scott Erickson. New York hit three home runs -- the first from Jim Leyritz, then consecutive shots by Fielder and Strawberry.

Pettitte allowed only two hits -- both to Todd Zeile -- through the first seven innings before Eddie Murray opened the eighth with a homer to make it 6-2.

But Andy Pettitte, who allowed three hits, finished the inning and John Wetteland, pitched the ninth, allowing a two-out, two-run homer to Bobby Bonilla.

Cardinals 4, Braves 3. Brian Jordan hit a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals rallied from three runs down to beat the Atlanta Braves 4-3.

Sunday night's victory coupled with Saturday's 3-2 win gives the Cardinals a surprising 3-1 lead. Jordan lined a 2-1 pitch from Greg McMichael over the fence in left-center field for his second post-season homer.

Dennis Eckersley made it stand up, setting down the last three Braves in the ninth after Jermaine Dye led off with a double. He got pinch-hitter Luis Polonia on a popout to second baseman Luis Alicea and struck out pinch-hitter Terry Pendleton and Marquis Grissom.

For most of the game, the Braves appeared to regain the formula that propelled them to five straight post-season appearances.

Denny Neagle, held St. Louis to one hit over six innings as Atlanta built a 3-0 lead.

He got the first two outs in the seventh before John Mabry singled and Tom Pagnozzi walked. Neagle told manager Bobby Cox he was tired and Cox brought in McMichael.

The Cardinals wasted no time getting to McMichael.

Rookie pinch-hitter Dmitri Young, hitless in his only previous post-season at-bat, lined a triple to the gap in left-center for his first career extra-base hit. Pinch-hitter Luis Alicea walked and Clayton beat out an infield hit, bringing home Young with the tying run.

Rick Honeycutt relieved Alan Benes to start the eighth for the Cardinals and issued a leadoff walk to Chipper Jones. But Fred McGriff fouled out and Ryan Klesko popped out to first. Eckersley came on and got Javy Lopez to bounce into an inning-ending fielder's choice. (AP, Reuters)