Nats sweep Cards; DC in World Series for 1st time since '33

Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez celebrates after Game 4 of the baseball NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Washington Nationals are going to the World series for the first time in franchise history.

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From 19-31 during a mediocre May to the Fall Classic in an outstanding October — and the city's first World Series appearance since 1933.

Extending their stunning turnaround, the wild-card Nationals got RBIs from middle-of-the-order stars Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto in a seven-run first inning Tuesday night, and Patrick Corbin's 12-strikeout performance plus a trio of relievers helped hold on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-4 in Game 4 to complete a sweep in the NLCS.

Now the Nationals get plenty of time to rest and set up their so-far terrific rotation before beginning the last series of the season against the Houston Astros or New York Yankees in a week. Houston leads the best-of-seven AL Championship Series 2-1 after winning Game 3 at New York 4-1 Tuesday.

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The Nationals became the fourth team to reach the World Series after being 12 games under .500.

The last time the World Series came to the nation's capital, more than eight decades ago, the Washington Senators lost to the New York Giants in five games. Have to go even further back, to 1924, for the city's lone baseball championship, when the Senators defeated the Giants.

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The Senators eventually left, and the town didn't have a major league team at all for more than three decades until the Montreal Expos — who were founded in 1969 and never made it to the World Series — moved to Washington in 2005.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.