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National League Game Capsules (Saturday, September 24th)
Final Score: Washington 4, Atlanta 1
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Chien-Ming Wang pitched six solid innings and drove in a run with his first major league hit, leading the Washington Nationals to a 4-1 victory over the Braves to slow Atlanta's playoff push. Danny Espinosa added a two-run single for the Nationals, who bounced back from a 7-4 loss in Friday's series-opener and won for the sixth time in seven games. The Braves lost for the fourth time in six outings and saw their lead in the NL wild card race trimmed to two games over St. Louis. The Cardinals scored two in the ninth to pull out a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. Atlanta will wrap up this series on Sunday before heading home to face NL East-champion Philadelphia for three games to close the season.
Final Score: New York 2, Philadelphia 1 (Game 1)
Final Score: New York 6, Philadelphia 3 (Game 2)
Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - R.A. Dickey pitched seven strong innings to give the New York Mets a 2-1 win over the struggling Philadelphia Phillies in the opener of a doubleheader. New York, aided by a five-run third inning, also earned a 6-3 victory in the back end of the twinbill over a Philadelphia Phillies club that has lost eight games in seven days since clinching the NL East. They own the longest losing streak in major league history by a team that had already won at least 98 games.
Final Score: St. Louis 2, Chicago 1
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Carlos Marmol walked in a run and let the winning one score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth, allowing St. Louis to steal a crucial 2-1 victory against the Chicago Cubs. The win gave a big boost to the Cardinals' postseason hopes. Because of Atlanta's 4-1 loss in Washington on Saturday, St. Louis pulled within two games of the Braves for the National League wild card lead. Both the Cardinals and Braves have only four games left. St. Louis won Saturday when Marmol (2-6) loaded the bases before walking Ryan Theriot. His wild pitch to Rafael Furcal got past catcher Geovany Soto, allowing pinch-runner Adron Chambers to race home.
Final Score: Colorado 4, Houston 2 (13 innings)
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Chris Nelson's bases-loaded walk forced in the go-ahead run in the 13th inning, and Colorado snapped a nine-game losing skid by topping Houston, 4-2, in the third installment of a four-game series. Jordan Lyles (2-8) walked Thomas Field to start the frame, then Field moved to third on Astros catcher Humberto Quintero's fielding error on an Eric Young dribbler. Dexter Fowler was given a free pass with one out, and Nelson worked a base on balls to force in Field. Aneury Rodriguez came on but served up a sacrfice fly to pinch-hitter Wilin Rosario and Colorado led by two. Rafael Betancourt retired the side in order for his seventh save. It made a winner of Matt Reynolds (1-2), who walked two but turned in a scoreless 12th. Jordan Pacheco hit a two-run double for the Rockies, who hadn't tasted victory since September 14 at Milwaukee. Brett Wallace clubbed a solo homer for the Astros, who had taken the first two games of the set.
Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, Cincinnati 3
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Jason Jaramillo went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, as the Pirates downed the Reds, 4-3, in the middle test of a three-game series. Brad Lincoln (2-3) allowed two runs on six hits over five- plus innings to earn the win. He walked four and struck out four. Jason Grilli stranded a runner in scoring position in the ninth to record his first save of the season and the third of his career. Josh Harrison went 4- for-5 and was a home run short of the cycle for the Pirates, who have won three of four. Travis Wood (6-6) lasted just 2 2/3 innings, surrendering four runs on seven hits to suffer the loss. Joey Votto doubled twice and drove in a pair for the Reds, losers of six of eight.
Final Score: Milwaukee 6, Florida 4
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Corey Hart sparked a three-run seventh inning with a pinch-hit, two-run double, as the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers took down the Florida Marlins, 6-4, in the second test of a three-game series. Ryan Braun had an RBI double in the seventh and knocked in a total of two runs for the Brewers, who won their first division title since 1982 with a 4-1 victory in the opener of this series on Friday. Yuniesky Betancourt hit a solo homer for Milwaukee, which got an RBI from Prince Fielder. Brewers starter Zack Greinke gave up four runs on nine hits over five innings. He struck out six and walked five. LaTroy Hawkins (2-1) tossed a scoreless seventh to pick up the win. John Axford pitched a scoreless ninth for his 45th save of the year, which moved him past Francisco Cordero (2007) for the single-season franchise record. Emilio Bonifacio and Omar Infante homered for the Marlins, who have lost four of six. Alex Sanabia allowed three runs on six hits over a four-inning start. Burke Badenhop (2-3) gave up two runs on three hits over two-plus frames of relief to take the loss.
Final Score: Arizona 15, San Francisco 2
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - San Francisco now joins the ranks of teams who have learned how tough it is to repeat as World Series champions. The Giants were officially eliminated from playoff contention with a 15-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second edition of a three-game set. In an eerie bit of foreshadowing, the lights went out at Chase Field in the seventh inning when Arizona held an 11-2 lead. The delay lasted 28 minutes. Gerardo Parra went 2-for-3 with four RBI, while Ryan Roberts added two hits, three RBI and two runs scored for the NL West champion Diamondbacks, who have won five of six. Ian Kennedy (21-4) tossed six innings of two-run ball to pick up the win. He scattered five hits while fanning four, and once again strengthened his case for NL Cy Young consideration. Eric Surkamp (2-1) didn't make it out of the first frame as he was charged with six runs on three hits and four walks while retiring only two batters. Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in for the Giants, who have lost three straight and four of their past five.
Final Score: San Diego 3, Los Angeles 0
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Aaron Harang threw eight superb innings and Heath Bell finished off a four-hit shutout, as the Padres downed the Dodgers, 3-0, in the second meeting of a three-game series. Harang (14-7) had five strikeouts, did not walk a batter and allowed just three hits to carry San Diego to its third shutout victory in eight games. Will Venable singled in Anthony Rizzo with a base hit up the middle in the fifth and Orlando Hudson followed with a base hit through the left side to score Andy Parrino. Those hits came off Chad Billingsley (11-11), who was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and three walks in a five-inning start.