PIRATES 2, BRAVES 1
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Atlanta Braves’ hopes of winning the National League East ended with a loss to the Pirates that gave the division title to the Nationals.
The Braves, who needed to sweep the Pirates and have first-place Washington drop three games to Philadelphia to tie for the division lead, will instead be the top wild card team and host the wild card game on Friday.
Starling Marte hit his sixth home run of the season and scored twice to lead the Pirates.
Atlanta managed just two hits against Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke (1-3), who picked up his first major league win. Jared Hughes worked the ninth for his second save in place of regular closer Joel Hanrahan.
Paul Maholm (13-11) gave up two runs in seven innings while losing to his former team for the first time, striking out eight and walking three.
CARDINALS 4, REDS 2
In St Louis, Missouri, Jaime Garcia homered off Bronson Arroyo and pitched into the seventh inning, helping the Cardinals clinch a share of the second NL wild card spot and spoil Dusty Baker’s return from a mini-stroke.
The defending World Series champions have won 11 of 14 and lead the Dodgers by two with two games to play.
Arroyo (12-10) threw 73 pitches while allowing three runs over five innings in a tuneup for the postseason. He topped 200 innings for the seventh time, but is 0-3 in his last four starts.
In other NL action, it was:
‧ Dodgers 3, Giants 2
‧ Astros 3, Cubs 0
‧ Marlins 3, Mets 2
‧ Brewers 5, Padres 3
‧ Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 5