Baseball

MLB highlights: Nationals bring playoffs back to D.C.

San Diego second baseman Logan Forsythe reached for the ball as Arizona's Chris Johnson slid safely into second. The Padres won 6-5.
San Diego second baseman Logan Forsythe reached for the ball as Arizona's Chris Johnson slid safely into second. The Padres won 6-5. AP

Nationals 4, Dodgers 1: The Washington Nationals brought postseason baseball back to the nation's capital for the first time since 1933, clinching at least an NL wild-card spot. Washington's magic number to win the NL East was reduced to eight.

Ross Detwiler pitched six strong innings. Ryan Zimmerman knocked in a run with a double and scored on a wild pitch.

Cardinals 5, Astros 4: Pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran snapped a sixth-inning tie with a two-run double and Allen Craig hit a three-run home run, powering St. Louis Cardinals to a a season sweep at home over Houston.

Beltran's double put St. Louis up 5-3, rewarding Jaime Garcia (5-7) for keeping it close and putting the Cardinals 2½ games up for the second NL wild card with 12 games remaining. They took care of business against the lowly Astros, who absorbed their 102nd loss.

Brewers 9, Pirates 7: Rickie Weeks hit a tying two-run triple and scored the go-ahead run on Aramis Ramirez's single, helping surging Milwaukee rally for it's fifth straight victory. The Brewers has won eight of nine and 15 of 19 to climb into the playoff race just 2½ games back of St. Louis for the second NL wild-card slot.

Giants 9, Rockies 2: Pablo Sandoval homered from both sides of the plate and the NL West-leading Giants reduced their magic number to clinch the division to four.

American League

Yankees 10, Blue Jays 7: Streaking Ichiro Suzuki hit a go-ahead, two-run double in a seven-run fourth inning capped by Nick Swisher's grand slam, as New York opened up a one-game AL East lead over idle Baltimore.

The Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays and have won five in a row, their longest winning string since June 23-27.

Backed by an 8-2 lead, Phil Hughes (16-12) lasted just five innings. Toronto trailed 10-4 before a three-run eighth. David Robertson got three outs for his second save this season and first since May 8.

Athletics 12, Tigers 4: Seth Smith homered, doubled and drove in four runs as Oakland avoided a three-game sweep in a matchup of AL playoff contenders.

Both teams began the day in second place in their divisions, and Oakland held an edge in the wild-card race.

Rays 7, Red Sox 4: B.J. Upton hit a game-ending, three-run homer off Vicente Padilla, capping Tampa Bay's six-run ninth inning and lifting the Rays to a sorely needed victory. Tampa Bay salvaged a split of the four-game series and remained 5½ games back of Oakland for the second AL wild-card slot.

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