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Wednesday's National League Capsules

PHOENIX (AP) — Miguel Montero had a two-run homer among his three hits and the Arizona Diamondbacks jumped on the Pittsburgh Pirates early in an 8-5 win on Wednesday that cut their magic number for clinching the NL West to two.

A day after stranding 11 runners in a loss to Pittsburgh, the Diamondbacks put pressure on the Pirates from the start, setting a team record with four stolen bases while scoring three runs off Russ Ohlendorf (1-3) in the first inning.

Arizona added five more runs in the third inning with two-run hits by Aaron Hill and Ryan Roberts, giving Wade Miley (4-2) more than enough run support.

J.J. Putz struck out the side in the ninth for his 43rd save as Arizona moved toward closing out San Francisco, which played the Dodgers later.

Derrek Lee homered and drove in two runs, and Ryan Ludwick added a solo shot for Pittsburgh, which has lost 10 of 14.

Cardinals 6, Mets 5

ST. LOUIS (AP) — David Freese drove in five runs with a triple and a three-run homer, and the surging Cardinals beat the Mets.

The Cardinals have won four straight and 12 of 14 to move within 1 1/2 games of Atlanta in the National League wild-card race. St. Louis, a season-high 17 over .500 (86-69), has seven games left and will go for a sweep of the Mets on Thursday.

The Mets fell to 73-82, ensuring the third straight losing season for the big-spending ballclub that has been plagued by injuries and off-field financial woes.

Jaime Garcia (13-7), making his 30th start, pitched around four unearned runs in 7 2-3 innings. He gave up six hits and struck out five.

Marlins 4, Braves 0

MIAMI (AP) — Javier Vazquez allowed only two hits in seven innings Wednesday against his former team, and the Marlins played the spoiler’s role by beating Atlanta.

The Braves, who lost for the 13th time in their past 20 games, saw their lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL wild-card race fall to 1 1/2 games. The Cardinals were 10 1/2 games back on Aug. 25.

For the third start in a row, Vazquez (12-11) did not allow a run. He extended his streak of scoreless innings to 25, a Marlins record for a starter.

Leo Nunez walked two in the ninth before retiring Heyward to complete a two-hitter. It was the ninth time the Braves have been shut out.

Derek Lowe (9-16) improved from recent outings but lost his fourth start in a row.

Cubs 7, Brewers 1

CHICAGO (AP) — Matt Garza pitched a six-hitter, Marlon Byrd hit a three-run homer and the Chicago Cubs prolonged Milwaukee’s drive to clinch the NL Central, beating the Brewers in the final game at Wrigley Field this season.

The Brewers’ magic number for winning the division title and closing out St. Louis remained at three. The Cardinals beat the New York Mets 6-5 on Wednesday night.

The Brewers dropped two of their games against the Cubs and finished 39-42 on the road. They now go to Miller Park to wind up the regular season with a six-game homestand against the Marlins and Pirates beginning Friday.

Garza (9-10) allowed just an unearned run and struck out 10.

DJ LeMahieu broke a 1-all tie with two-out, two-run double in the fifth off Randy Wolfe (13-10).

Reds 2, Astros 0

CINCINNATI (AP) — Bronson Arroyo pitched a six-hitter and the Cincinnati Reds wrapped up their home schedule with a win over the Houston Astros.

Miguel Cairo homered as Cincinnati finished 42-39 at Great American Ball Park. The Reds drew 2,213,498 this season, an increase of 152,948 over last year’s attendance when they won the NL Central.

The game took only 2 hours, 12 minutes, the fastest of the season for the Reds. There was a 4-minute delay before the fourth inning because of flashing lights triggered by a fire alarm.

Arroyo (9-12) walked none and struck out two. He needed just 91 pitches in his fourth career shutout and first since beating Washington on Aug. 13, 2009.

Wandy Rodriguez (11-11) took the loss.

Padres 4, Rockies 0

DENVER (AP) — Rookie Anthony Bass pitched five solid innings to help the San Diego Padres complete a rare three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a win in the last game of the season at Coors Field.

Bass (2-0) cruised through this game, allowing just two hits and throwing an economical 52 pitches before leaving after a leadoff walk in the sixth. Both of his major league wins have now come at Colorado.

Anthony Rizzo and Andy Parrino had RBI singles for the Padres, who earned their first sweep of three or more games in Denver since April 2001.

Heath Bell was summoned in the ninth with runners on first and third and one out. He struck out pinch-hitter Ty Wigginton and Seth Smith to earn his 41st save in 46 chances.

Aaron Cook (3-10) settled down after a rough first inning in which he surrendered four runs. He tied a career high with eight strikeouts.

Nationals 7, Phillies 5

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos each hit two-run home runs to help the Nationals beat Philadelphia, sending the NL East-champion Phillies to their season-worst fifth straight loss.

The Phillies have been in a funk since they clinched their fifth straight division title on Saturday. They’ve lost five straight games for the first time since May 22-27, 2010. All of the losses have come at home, where the Phillies are tied for the major league lead with 52 victories.

Espinosa’s two-run shot in the sixth off Vance Worley (11-3) made it 4-3 as the Nationals continued to give Philadelphia fits. Washington swept a doubleheader on Tuesday and go for the four-game sweep on Thursday.

John Lannan (10-13) allowed eight singles and three runs in five innings. Henry Rodriguez worked the ninth for his first save.

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