MLB highlights: Phils clinch playoffs with Halladay's gem

Roy Halladay threw a six-hit shutout against the Astros, striking out seven and walking one.
Roy Halladay threw a six-hit shutout against the Astros, striking out seven and walking one. AP

Phillies 1, Astros 0: No champagne. No wild celebration. The Philadelphia Phillies are back in the postseason for the fifth straight year, and that's exactly what they expected.

Roy Halladay (18-5) pitched his 20th career shutout and Philadelphia became the first team to reach the playoffs this season with a victory at Houston on Wednesday.

The NL East leaders clinched at least a wild-card berth and will take another run at a ring in October. Philadelphia won the World Series in 2008 and took the NL pennant in 2009. "That's the beauty of being here," Halladay said. "We expect to win."

Cardinals 3, Pirates 2: Host Pittsburgh clinched its 19th consecutive losing season, a record for a major-league franchise in North America, losing to St. Louis as Yadier Molina hit a tiebreaking, two-run double.

Braves 4, Marlins 1: Alex Gonzalez hit a three-run homer, Martin Prado bunted in a run during a four-run rally in the seventh inning, and host Atlanta beat Florida to maintain its lead in the NL wild-card race.

Giants 3, Padres 1: Carlos Beltran hit two homers to give him 300 for his career and Tim Lincecum (13-12) ended a three-start winless stretch as host San Francisco completed a sweep of the series.

American League

Orioles 6, Rays 2: Tampa Bay missed an opportunity to gain ground in the wild-card race, getting only three hits over seven innings against Jeremy Guthrie in a loss at Baltimore. Instead of closing within three games of the Red Sox, the Rays lost their second straight to the last-place Orioles. Next up for the Rays: Four games against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, beginning Thursday night.

Rangers 9, Indians 1: Josh Hamilton's third career grand slam highlighted an eight-run fourth, and Derek Holland (14-5) pitched seven innings to lead host Texas. The AL West leaders won their third straight and maintained a three-game lead over the second-place Angels.

Angels 4, Athletics 1: Jered Weaver (17-7) went seven innings, Mark Trumbo hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth and Los Angeles beat host Oakland.

Tigers 6, White Sox 5 (10 innings): Carlos Guillen singled home the go-ahead run in the 10th inning, and visiting Detroit extended its longest winning streak in 77 years to 12. Guillen also hit a solo homer for Detroit, which hadn't won 12 in a row since 1934.

Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 4: Host Boston lost for the sixth time in seven games, wasting an eighth-inning lead when Adam Loewen's two-run single off Daniel Bard lifted Toronto to a win.