SF eliminates Phillies to advance to World Series

PHILADELPHIA, PA Slumping Phillies slugger Ryan Howard looked at a called third strike with runners on first and second to end it. Howard, who was fourth in the National League in RBIs during the regular season, did not drive in a run in the postseason.

Giants ace Tim Lincecum struggled in the eighth inning, pitching in relief on one day of rest after losing Game 5. Brian Wilson got five outs to finish off the Phillies, who were trying to become the first NL team in 66 years to win three straight pennants.

Cody Ross, who had three home runs and five RBIs in the series, was named NLCS MVP. The Giants picked up Ross on waivers from Florida late in the season.

Javier Lopez got the win in relief as the Giants bullpen tossed seven shutout innings. When Wilson punched out Howard to end it, the Giants erupted in glee after winning Game 6 on the Phillies' home field.

Winning manager Bruce Bochy (BOH'-chee) said afterward "that's the way it's been the entire season."

Benches emptied in the third inning after Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez hit Chase Utley with a pitch. Sanchez took exception when Utley tossed the ball back toward the mound after it caromed to him on his way to first base.

Sanchez yelled an expletive at Utley, who seemed surprised the left-hander was upset. Utley waved him off and turned around. Still both benches and bullpens quickly ran onto the field. Nobody was ejected.

The pitching-rich Giants will host the Texas Rangers in Game 1 on Wednesday night.

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