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National League Game Capsules (Monday, September 19th)
Final Score: St. Louis 4, Philadelphia 3
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Kyle Lohse outdueled Roy Halladay, and Lance Berkman drove in a pair of runs as the St. Louis Cardinals moved closer in the wild card race with a 4-3 victory over Philadelphia in the finale of a four-game series. Despite the loss, the Phillies locked up home-field advantage throughout the entire playoffs Monday night because Milwaukee lost to the Chicago Cubs. The victory was more pressing for the Cardinals, who are now 2 1/2 games behind Atlanta in the wild card standings. The Braves lost, 6-5, at Florida Monday night.
Final Score: Florida 6, Atlanta 5
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Omar Infante atoned for a big fielding error in the seventh inning with a game-winning hit against his former team, a two-run homer off Craig Kimbrel in the ninth, boosting Florida to a shocking 6-5 win over the playoff-hopeful Atlanta Braves. Infante's miscue capped a four-run Atlanta seventh, giving Atlanta the lead, but his first career walk-off homer sent the sputtering Braves to their seventh defeat in 10 contests. Atlanta's lead in the National League wild card standings was reduced to 2 1/2 games over St. Louis, which won at Philadelphia, 4-3, Monday night. Florida was down to its last out, but Emilio Bonifacio reached safely on an infield hit when third baseman Chipper Jones lost the high chopper in the lights. Infante then smacked a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left field. Mike Stanton clubbed a pair of mammoth solo homers and Logan Morrison added a two-run shot -- all off Mike Minor, as the Marlins won for the third time in four tries.
Final Score: Houston 3, Cincinnati 2
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Matt Downs cracked the go-ahead solo home run in the top of the eighth inning, sending the Houston Astros to a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park. Downs also added a single while J.D. Martinez picked up two hits and a run scored and Jason Bourgeois added a pair of hits for Houston, which has won back-to-back games. David Carpenter (1-3) earned the win, throwing a third of an inning in relief, while Mark Melancon worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 19th save of the year. Brandon Phillips smacked a solo home run and Todd Frazier laced an RBI double for the Reds, losers in four straight games. Nick Masset (3-6) absorbed the loss after allowing Downs' home run. Logan Ondrusek was tagged with his third blown save.
Final Score: Chicago 5, Milwaukee 2
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Geovany Soto finished 3-for-3 with a pair of homers and drove in all five runs as the Chicago Cubs downed Milwaukee, 5-2, in the opener of a three-game series. Casey Coleman (3-8) turned in six solid innings, allowing two hits and one run while fanning eight and walking three for the Cubs, who have won three of their last four. Jerry Hairston and Casey McGehee added a solo homer each for the Brewers, whose three-game win streak was halted. Milwaukee's lead over St. Louis in the NL Central shrunk to 5 1/2 games after the Cards beat the Phillies earlier Monday, and its magic number to clinch the division remained at four. Chris Narveson (10-8) lasted just four full frames, charged in the loss with four hits and three runs -- two earned -- with three walks.
Final Score: San Diego 8, Colorado 2
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Corey Luebke tossed seven brilliant innings to lead the San Diego Padres to an 8-2 thrashing of the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game set at Coors Field. Luebke (6-9) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before having it broken up on a two-run home run by Mark Ellis. That turned out to be Colorado's only hit. Luebke struck out nine and walked three. Ernesto Frieri pitched the final two innings. Cameron Maybin and Aaron Cunningham clubbed two-run home runs in the fourth inning and Jason Bartlett added a pair of RBI for the Padres. Luebke also helped his own cause with two hits. Kevin Millwood (3-3) was roughed up in 3 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs -- six earned -- on nine hits for the Rockies, losers of five straight.
Final Score: Arizona 1, Pittsburgh 0
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Ian Kennedy showed why he is a candidate for the National League Cy Young Award, tossing eight innings of one-hit ball Monday night, as the Diamondbacks slipped past the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1-0, to inch closer to their first NL West title since 2007. Kennedy (20-4) tied a career-high with 12 strikeouts, including six straight, while walking only one en route to becoming just the fourth Arizona pitcher to have a 20-win season. He joins Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Brandon Webb on that list. He's the first to reach 20 wins this season in the National League. The D-Backs also reduced their magic number to four to win the NL West. They stand 5 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco, which didn't play Monday.