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National League Game Capsules (Tuesday, September 27th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 7, Atlanta 1
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Atlanta's once healthy wild card lead is no more, as the Braves were dumped by the record-setting Phillies, 7-1, and the Cardinals came back and beat the Astros later Tuesday night. The Cardinals trailed the Braves by 10 1/2 games on August 25, but polar opposite performances in September has the clubs all square atop the wild card standings heading into the regular season finale. Philadelphia matched a club record with 101 wins, set a franchise mark with 49 road victories and saw manager Charlie Manuel match Gene Mauch for first place on the club's all-time wins list. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Hunter Pence all homered for the five-time NL East champions, while Roy Oswalt (9-10) hurled six scoreless innings. Derek Lowe (9-17), the embodiment of Atlanta's collapse, was tagged for five runs on six hits in four-plus innings, falling to 0-5 in September with an 8.75 earned run average.
Final Score: St. Louis 13, Houston 6
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - The Cardinals improbably control their own postseason fate after coming back and destroying the Astros, 13-6, in the penultimate game of the regular season. St. Louis trailed wild card-leading Atlanta by 10 1/2 games on August 25, but its recent 15-5 stretch, coupled with the Braves' swoon, evened the clubs' record at 89-72 with one game remaining. If a tiebreaker is needed, the Cardinals will serve as host on Thursday. Allen Craig, playing as an injury replacement for Matt Holliday (hand), went 2-for-3 with a home run, three runs scored and four driven in for the Cardinals, who trailed 5-0 before rallying to keep its playoff chances afloat. Chris Carpenter has the task of shouldering the load in Wednesday's finale opposite Brett Myers. Enerio Del Rosario (0-3) was charged with three runs in St. Louis' game-changing four-run seventh to take the loss.
Final Score: Milwaukee 6, Pittsburgh 4
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Prince Fielder hit three home runs for the first time in his career, including the tie-breaking two-run blast in the seventh, to power the Brewers to a 6-4 victory over the Pirates. Fielder had a pair of two-run homers and a solo shot as the Brewers won for the 10th time in 14 games and continued to fight with Arizona for home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Ryan Braun went 1-for-2 with two walks to up his average to .335 as he battles with the New York Mets Jose Reyes for the NL batting title. Reyes is hitting .336 entering the final game of the season. Jared Hughes (0-1) gave up Fielder's third home run in the seventh inning to take the loss. Ross Ohlendorf allowed four runs on five hits and three walks through a five-inning start for Pittsburgh. Alex Presley had two hits and an RBI for the Pirates, losers in two of their past three contests.
Final Score: Arizona 7, Los Angeles 6 (10 innings)
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Ryan Roberts clubbed a grand slam in the home half of the 10th frame, capping a six-run, two-out rally, as the Diamondbacks stayed alive for the second seed in the National League playoffs with a 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dee Gordon and Jamey Carroll each had three hits and Matt Kemp finished with a pair of hits for the Dodgers. Lyle Overbay finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and Young scored twice for the Diamondbacks.
Final Score: Chicago 6, San Diego 2
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Alfonso Soriano's three-run home run powered the Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the Padres in the second contest of a three- game series. The hit made a winner of Matt Garza (10-10), who tossed seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out eight in his fourth straight winning decision. Chad Qualls (6-8) surrendered Soriano's homer to take the loss. Anthony Bass made his third start of his career and allowed one run on five hits and two walks through five full frames. Kyle Blanks knocked in both of the Padres' runs as they were defeated for the third time in five games.
Final Score: Cincinnati 5, New York 4 (13 innings)
Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Drew Stubbs executed a go-ahead squeeze bunt as the Cincinnati Reds edged the New York Mets, 5-4, in 13 innings. Juan Francisco slapped a one-out triple in the right-center field gap off of Dale Thayer (0-3) to set-up Stubbs for the squeeze that went toward third base. Francisco Cordero earned his 37th save although he walked four in the 13th. Justin Turner hit into a game-ending unassisted double play when he lined out to Todd Frazier at second. Jay Bruce had three hits, including a two-run homer for the Reds, who have won three straight. Sam LeCure (2-1) picked up the win with a 1-2-3 12th. Jose Reyes (.336) continued his pursuit of the first NL batting title in Mets history by going 3-for-6 with a pair of solo home runs. He leads the Brewers' Ryan Braun (.335) who went 1-for-2 in Tuesday's game against the Pirates.
Final Score: San Francisco 7, Colorado 0
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Brandon Belt went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and Madison Bumgarner threw seven innings of two-hit ball to lift the Giants over the Rockies, 7-0, in the second meeting of a season-ending three- game series. Bumgarner (13-13) struck out nine and did not issue a walk to end his .500 campaign on a winning note. Conor Gillaspie added a two-run homer for San Francisco, which won the opener of the set, 3-1. Alex White (2-4) surrendered three runs on six hits in a four-inning start for Colorado, which has lost 11 of its last 13.
Final Score: Florida 3, Washington 2
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Bryan Petersen crushed the game-winning solo home in the bottom of the ninth inning, sending the Florida Marlins to a 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals at Sun Life Stadium. Javier Vazquez (13-11) was brilliant on the mound. He pitched a complete game five-hitter while striking out nine without issuing a walk. Emilio Bonifacio had two hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Marlins, who snapped a four-game skid. Michael Morse smoked a solo home run and Ian Desmond chipped in with an RBI single for the Nationals, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.