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Archive for Sunday, September 19, 2004

Cardinals first squad to clinch playoff spot

September 19, 2004

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— The St. Louis Cardinals became the first major-league team to clinch a playoff spot this season, winning the NL Central for the third time in five seasons.

A few hours after the Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-0, Saturday, the playoff berth was clinched when San Francisco lost to San Diego, 5-1. When the Chicago Cubs lost 6-5 at Cincinnati, the division title was assured.

St. Louis (97-50) only can be matched in the division by the Cubs (81-65), who lost the season series with the Cardinals 11-8. In addition, the Giants' loss meant that the second-place teams in both the NL East and NL West would have 96 wins or fewer.

Reds 6, Cubs 5

Cincinnati -- Wily Mo Pena hit two home runs to offset a pair by Moises Alou and lead Cincinnati over Chicago.

Astros 4, Brewers 3

Houston -- Jeff Bagwell homered and drove in three runs, becoming the 29th player in major-league history to both score and drive in 1,500 runs, and Houston rallied to beat Milwaukee.

Expos 6, Phillies 5 (14)

Philadelphia -- Tony Batista's two-out RBI single in the 14th inning lifted Montreal over Philadelphia.

Mets 8, Pirates 7 (10)

Pittsburgh -- Mike Cameron's sacrifice fly in the 10th inning drove in the go-ahead run, leading New York over Pittsburgh.

Braves 4, Marlins 2

Miami -- Jaret Wright allowed just three hits in 81/3 innings, and Atlanta defeated Florida. Wright (15-7) gave the crowd of 34,714 little to cheer about. He struck out five, walked one and hit a batter.

Padres 5, Giants 1

San Francisco -- Barry Bonds added another home run to his impressive total a day after hitting career homer No. 700, but San Diego's Jay Payton hit a tiebreaking three-run shot in the seventh to lead the Padres past the Giants.

Rockies 8, Dodgers 1

Denver -- Joe Kennedy pitched seven innings of four-hit ball and had a two-run triple in a five-run seventh, helping Colorado beat Los Angeles.

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