Tuesday's National League Capsules
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves are doing their best to give away what looked like a certain playoff berth just a few weeks ago.
Derek Lowe had another miserable outing, surrendering five runs in four-plus innings, and the Philadelphia Phillies romped to a 7-1 victory Tuesday night that left the Braves on the brink going to the final day of the regular season.
Chase Utley, Hunter Pence and Jimmy Rollins homered for the playoff-bound Phillies to back a three-hit outing by Roy Oswalt (9-10), who tuned up for the playoffs with a strong performance in a largely disappointing season.
The Braves lost their fourth in a row and eighth in 11 games, sending them to the final day of the regular season tied with the St. Louis Cardinals, who beat Houston 13-6.
Cardinals 13, Astros 6
HOUSTON (AP) — The Cardinals are tied with Atlanta for the NL wild-card lead, getting a clutch two-run triple from Ryan Theriot in the seventh inning of a victory over the Astros.
The sliding Braves lost 7-1 to Philadelphia, sending the race for the NL’s final playoff spot to the final day of the regular season. If the teams are tied after Wednesday’s game, St. Louis will host a one-game playoff on Thursday night.
The Cardinals trailed 5-0 early and appeared to be headed for a second straight loss to the Astros. But St. Louis scored five times in the fourth and erased a 6-5 deficit with a four-run seventh.
Lance Berkman hit a two-out single and scored on Allen Craig’s tying double. Yadier Molina walked before Theriot’s triple made it 8-6.
Diamondbacks 7, Dodgers 6, 10 innings
PHOENIX (AP) — Ryan Roberts’ grand slam capped a six-run 10th inning that gave the Diamondbacks the most amazing of their 48 come-from-behind victories this season.
The Dodgers had scored five runs in their half of the 10th and retired the first two batters in Arizona’s half of the inning.
But the Diamondbacks loaded the bases and scored a run on an error. Los Angeles closer Javy Guerra (2-1) came on and walked in a run, then Roberts lined the first pitch he saw over the fence in left field. It was Guerra’s second blown save in 23 tries.
Micah Owings (8-0) got the victory despite his awful 10th, which included his throwing error that allowed the first run to score.
The victory keeps alive Arizona’s hopes to open the first round of the playoffs at home.
Brewers 6, Pirates 4
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Prince Fielder homered three times in a game for the first time in his career, including a two-run shot in the seventh inning that lifted the Brewers to a victory over the Pirates.
Fielder’s final homer was the least impressive of the three, barely sailing over the wall in right field after he hit monster shots in the third and fifth innings. But it was the last one that made the biggest difference, breaking a 4-4 tie.
The Brewers stayed one game in front of Arizona for the No. 2 seed for the NL playoffs. The Diamondbacks rallied for a 7-6 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 10 innings, keeping alive their hopes for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Reds 5, Mets 4, 13 innings
NEW YORK (AP) — Jose Reyes hit two solo home runs, putting pop into his bid for the NL batting title, but the Reds beat the Mets on Drew Stubbs’ squeeze bunt in the 13th inning.
Reyes began the next-to-last game of the season with a minuscule .00003 lead over Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun. Reyes went 3 for 6 and raised his average to .336, finishing the evening one point ahead of Braun, who went 1 for 2 in a 6-4 win over Pittsburgh.
Juan Francisco, who entered after Reds star Brandon Phillips exited early with a strained left quadriceps, hit a tying double with two outs in the ninth. He then hustled for a triple in the 13th and scored on Stubbs’ bunt.
Justin Turner lined into a double play with the bases loaded to end the game, leaving Reyes on deck.
Giants 7, Rockies 0
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Madison Bumgarner and two relievers combined on a three-hitter, Brandon Belt homered into McCovey Cove and the Giants beat the Rockies.
Conor Gillaspie, making a rare start at third base in place of Pablo Sandoval, hit an inside-the-park home run in the seventh while Brandon Crawford added two hits and an RBI for the Giants, who have won two straight following a four-game losing streak.
That’s little consolation for the defending World Series champs, who will still miss the postseason a year after claiming their first title in 54 years.
Marlins 3, Nationals 2
MIAMI (AP) — Bryan Petersen homered with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and Javier Vazquez pitched a five-hitter as the Marlins beat the Nationals.
Petersen hit the first pitch from reliever Doug Slaten (0-2).
The 35-year-old Vazquez (13-11) may have pitched the final game of his career as he is likely to retire at the end of the season.
The Marlins also had only five hits.
Nationals starter John Lannan went six innings and gave up two runs and three hits, striking out four.
Cubs 6, Padres 2
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Starlin Castro had two singles to extend his NL-leading total to 206 hits, Alfonso Soriano hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning and the Cubs beat the Padres in a matchup of 90-game losers.
Castro has 12 more hits than Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers. On Wednesday, Castro will become the youngest player ever to lead the NL in hits in a season, at 21 years, 188 days. He’ll also become the third Cubs player in seven seasons to lead the NL in hits, joining Juan Pierre (2006) and Derrek Lee (2005).
Castro reached base for the 39th straight game, extending his career-high streak.
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