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National League Game Capsules (Monday, September 26th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 4, Atlanta 2
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Going into September 2, Atlanta held an 8 1/2 game advantage in the wild card standings. The lead could be gone by the end of tonight. Raul Ibanez singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and added an insurance RBI base hit in the eighth, carrying the NL East-champion Philadelphia Phillies to their 100th win of the season, 4-2 over the struggling Braves. Atlanta holds a tenuous half-game lead on St. Louis in the wild card standings, pending the Cardinals' Monday result in Houston. The Braves, who hit just .167 over the weekend while losing two of three in Washington, have dropped 11 of their last 16 games. In his final regular season start, Cliff Lee (17-8) fanned six over as many innings and gave up five hits and a pair of runs. Jimmy Rollins tied the game in the fifth with a solo homer, as the Phillies secured their third-ever 100-win season in franchise history, one shy of a club record (1976-77). The Phillies are the first National League team to post a 100-win season since the Cardinals in 2005. They also clinched the best record in the majors this season when the Yankees lost at Tampa Bay Monday night. The Phillies also tied a franchise- record with their 48th road win, also accomplished in 1976 and 2009.
Final Score: Houston 5, St. Louis 4 (10 innings)
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - The Houston Astros played spoiler Monday, denying the St. Louis Cardinals a chance at pulling even in the NL wild card race with a 5-4 win in 10 innings. The Cardinals trailed the wild card leading Braves by one game coming into the season-ending three-game series. Atlanta lost to Philadelphia earlier in the night to open the door, but Brian Bogusevic slugged a pinch-hit double leading off the home 10th, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored the game- winner when Octavio Dotel (3-3) couldn't field Angel Sanchez's squeeze bunt cleanly. Matt Downs hit a two-run homer for Houston, which had lost four of six coming in and was facing a team on a scorching 14-4 run. The Cardinals only got four innings out of starter Jaime Garcia and will turn to Jake Westbrook in Tuesday's penultimate regular- season meeting. St. Louis trailed by 10 1/2 games in the wild-card hunt this time last month, and continued its relentless play on Monday, only to fall short.
Final Score: Pittsburgh 9, Milwaukee 8
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Alex Presley's double knocked in the game- deciding run in the seventh inning as the Pirates took a 9-8 victory over the Brewers in the first of three season-ending matchups at Miller Park. Presley had three hits, three RBI and a run scored as the Pirates won for the fourth time in six games. Joel Hanrahan allowed the leadoff batter in the ninth to reach third on a single and two wild pitches, but worked out of the jam to earn his 40th save of the season. Daniel McCutchen (5-3) stopped the bleeding in a three-run sixth inning to earn the win. Yuniesky Betancourt knocked in four runs on two hits and a walk for the Brewers, who had won nine out of their last 12 games entering the contest. Takashi Saito (4-2) gave up Presley's double to take the loss. With losses by both the Brewers and Diamondbacks on Monday, Milwaukee still holds a one-game lead over Arizona for the second-best record in the National League.
Final Score: Los Angeles 4, Arizona 2
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Matt Kemp padded his MVP resume with a three- run homer in the first inning, lifting the Dodgers to a 4-2 victory over the NL West champion Diamondbacks in the opener of a regular season-ending three- game series. Kemp leads in two-thirds of the Triple Crown categories, pacing the NL in home runs (38) and RBI (123) while his .324 average currently ranks third behind Ryan Braun (.334) and Jose Reyes (.334). Dana Eveland (3-2) tossed 5 2/3 shutout innings to earn the win, Los Angeles' eighth in 10 games. Daniel Hudson (16-12) yielded four runs on five hits in seven innings for Arizona, which had won four straight coming in and still trails the Brewers by one game for the NL's second-best record.
Final Score: Cincinnati 6, New York 5
Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Chris Heisey's three-run home run powered the Reds to a 6-5 victory over the Mets to kick off a season-ending series at Citi Field. Logan Ondrusek (5-5) stranded two runners in the sixth inning to earn the win in relief of starter Homer Bailey, who tossed five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out seven. Francisco Cordero put two runners on with no outs in the ninth, but worked out of the jam to earn his 36th save of the year. Tim Byrdak (2-1) allowed two hits before Josh Stinson gave up Heisey's homer. Jose Reyes went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored as the Mets dropped their second straight contest.
Final Score: Washington 6, Florida 4
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Jack McKeon's final series as manager of the Marlins began with a loss. Michael Morse belted a three-run home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, sending the Washington Nationals to a 6-4 win over Florida Monday night. Earlier in the day, 80-year-old McKeon, the interim manager of the Marlins, officially announced that he will not return as skipper next season. Ozzie Guillen, who was released from his contract as manager of the White Sox Monday night, is reportedly in line to take over the Marlins next season as they move into a new stadium. Marlins reliever Edward Mujica (9-6) worked himself into trouble from the start of the ninth. Pinch- hitter Laynce Nix and Ian Desmond singled, but Mujica struck out Rick Ankiel and induced a groundout from Ryan Zimmerman and could see his way out of the inning. But he left a splitter out over the plate and Morse made him pay for it with his 30th homer, a shot to left-center. Atahualpa Severino (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for his first major league win and Henry Rodriguez finished off the Marlins in the bottom of the inning to nail down his second save of the year.
Final Score: San Diego 2, Chicago 0
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Will Venable's solo homer was all the offense the Padres needed as they took down the Cubs, 2-0, in the opener of a three- game, season-ending series. Mat Latos (9-14) carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning as he tossed seven shutout frames, allowing just two hits and a walk while fanning nine. He has now allowed three runs or less in 16 out of his past 17 outings. Heath Bell pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 43rd save of the year in the Padres' seventh win in 10 games. Casey Coleman (3-9) allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven through 5 2/3 innings. His triple in the sixth inning broke up Latos' no-hit bid. Starlin Castro singled for the Cubs' only other hit as Chicago dropped its third straight game.
Final Score: San Francisco 3, Colorado 1
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Ryan Vogelsong fittingly capped his comeback season with seven shutout innings, tossing the Giants past the Rockies, 3-1, in the opener of a three-game set. Vogelsong (13-7) made 28 starts in his unlikely All-Star campaign after spending four seasons out of the big leagues. He even singled and scored on Mike Fontenot's two-run triple in the third. The Giants, who were eliminated from postseason contention over the weekend, snapped a four-game slide. Jhoulys Chacin (11-14) took the loss after allowing two runs on eight hits in seven innings for the Rockies, who were coming off a four-game split in Houston.