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National League Game Capsules (Wednesday, September 21st)
Final Score: Florida 4, Atlanta 0
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Javier Vazquez continued his surge and sent the Braves further into their funk, as the Marlins earned a 4-0 victory by two- hitting the playoff contenders in the rubber match of a three-game series. Atlanta's eighth loss in 12 games, coupled with St. Louis' win on Wednesday, cut its once healthy NL wild card lead to 1 1/2 games over the hard-charging Cardinals with six games remaining. The Braves' bats had no chance against Vazquez (12-11), who extended his scoreless steak to 25 innings with seven terrific frames. He allowed just two hits and one walk while fanning six in Florida's fourth win in six games. Derek Lowe (9-16) fell to 0-4 in September after surrendering three runs on six hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings.
Final Score: St. Louis 6, New York 5
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - The Cardinals' playoff chances were helped by a Braves loss, then got even better when David Freese's three-run homer in the seventh inning gave St. Louis a 6-5 victory over the New York Mets. Atlanta's setback to the Marlins and Freese's go-ahead blast came within minutes of each other, and inched the Cardinals within 1 1/2 games of the NL wild card front-runners. Freese had a two-run triple prior to his heroics in the seventh, which made a winner of Jaime Garcia (13-7), who gave up four unearned runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings of work. New York's Chris Schwinden, on the eve of his 25th birthday, was in line for his first big league win after tossing six quality innings. But the Mets couldn't hold a 4-3 lead down the stretch to lose for the ninth time in 11 games.
Final Score: San Francisco 8, Los Angeles 5
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Justin Christian went 3-for-5 with three RBI and fellow rookie Brett Pill had three hits and drove in a pair to keep the Giants pushing towards a playoff spot with an 8-5 win over the Dodgers. The Giants' offensive turnaround over their 9-1 stretch may be a little too late though, as they trail the NL wild card-leading Braves by 3 1/2 games and the NL West-leading Diamondbacks by 5 1/2 with seven to play. Ryan Vogelsong (12-7) went the minimum five innings to earn the win, allowing four runs on nine hits and one walk. Dana Eveland (2-2) entered with a 0.84 earned-run average against the Giants but lasted just four innings after getting tagged for five runs on six hits.
Final Score: Chicago 7, Milwaukee 1
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Matt Garza pitched his second complete game of the season, striking out 10 batters to lead the Cubs over the Brewers, 7-1, in the final of a three-game series Wednesday afternoon. Garza (9-10) allowed an unearned run, six hits and a walk while earning the eighth complete game of his career. He threw 123 pitches, including 88 for strikes, as Chicago won two out of three against Milwaukee to finish the home part of their 2011 schedule with a 39-42 record. They are headed on a six-game road trip to St. Louis and San Diego to close the season. Marlon Byrd hit a three-run homer in the win. The Brewers scored their only run on a Starlin Castro error in the third inning and watched their lead for first place in the NL Central fall to five games over the Cardinals, who can cut it even further with a win over the New York Mets later Wednesday. Milwaukee returns home to wrap up its remaining six games against Florida and Pittsburgh.
Final Score: Arizona 8, Pittsburgh 5
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Miguel Montero went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, as the Arizona Diamondbacks hung on to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-5 in the rubber match of a three-game set. Diamondbacks rookie Wade Miley (4-2) went five innings, surrendering two runs on five hits while walking one. He struck out three. Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf (1-3) was chased from the game in the third frame when he loaded the bases without recording an out. He went two-plus innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks. Derrek Lee continued to swing a hot bat for Pittsburgh, going 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. The win moves Arizona's magic number to two to win the NL West.
Final Score: Cincinnati 2, Houston 0
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Bronson Arroyo tossed his first shutout in over two years, as the Cincinnati Reds handled the Houston Astros, 2-0, in the rubber match of a three-game series. Arroyo (9-12) gave up six hits and recorded his first shutout since August 13, 2009. The right-hander struck out two and did not issue a walk in his first win since August 24. Miguel Cairo hit a solo homer for the Reds, who finished their 2011 home schedule with a 42-39 mark. Chris Heisey had an RBI single in the first inning. Wandy Rodriguez (11-11) allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings for the Astros, who went 2-4 on a six-game road trip.
Final Score: San Diego 4, Colorado 0
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - A four-run first inning supported five-plus scoreless frames from Anthony Bass, as the Padres downed the Rockies, 4-0, to secure a three-game sweep. Chase Headley, Alberto Gonzalez, Anthony Rizzo and Andy Parrino each had an RBI for the Padres, who have won five of their last six. Bass (2-0), in his second career major league start, gave up two hits while walking one and fanning one. Heath Bell stranded runners at second and third in the ninth to record his 41st save of the season. Aaron Cook (3-10) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on six hits over five innings. Dexter Fowler went 2-for-4 with a double for the Rockies, who went 0-7 in their final homestand of the season. It marked the first time in club history that the Rockies dropped seven consecutive games at Coors Field.
Final Score: Washington 7, Philadelphia 5
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Wilson Ramos finished 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBI, and Danny Espinosa cracked a two-run home run, leading the Washington Nationals to a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in the third test of a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park. Michael Morse and Chris Marerro chipped in with a pair of hits apiece for the Nats, who have won four straight. John Lannan (10-13) worked five effective innings, giving up three runs on eight hits while striking out three and walking one. He won for only second time in 17 career starts against the Phillies. John Mayberry Jr. blasted a two-run homer among his three hits and scored three runs for the Phils, who have dropped a season-high five consecutive games. Vance Worley (11-3) gave up four runs on six hits in defeat.