Cloudy
83°
Cloudy
Hi 86° | Lo 64°

Pirates clinch first playoff berth in 21 years

  • Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jason Grilli, left, picks up catcher Russell Martin after a baseball game and Pirates 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jason Grilli, left, picks up catcher Russell Martin after a baseball game and Pirates 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • The Pittsburgh Pirates douse traveling secretary Greg Johnson with champaign and beer after a baseball game and 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. Johnson has been in his post for 30 years. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    The Pittsburgh Pirates douse traveling secretary Greg Johnson with champaign and beer after a baseball game and 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. Johnson has been in his post for 30 years. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates' Neil Walker rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Pittsburgh Pirates' Neil Walker rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Home plate umpire Mike DiMuro calls Chicago Cubs' Nate Schierholtz out at home as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin shows DiMuro the ball during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The Pirates won 2-1. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Home plate umpire Mike DiMuro calls Chicago Cubs' Nate Schierholtz out at home as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin shows DiMuro the ball during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The Pirates won 2-1. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte celebrates his home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The home run gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte celebrates his home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The home run gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte celebrates his home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The home run gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte celebrates his home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The home run gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte hits a home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The home run gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte hits a home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The home run gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Justin Morneau fields a high thrown from third baseman Pedro Alvarez getting Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro at first during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Justin Morneau fields a high thrown from third baseman Pedro Alvarez getting Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro at first during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Home plate umpire Mike DiMuro calls Chicago Cubs' Nate Schierholtz out at home as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin shows DiMuro the ball during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The Pirates won 2-1. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Home plate umpire Mike DiMuro calls Chicago Cubs' Nate Schierholtz out at home as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin shows DiMuro the ball during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The Pirates won 2-1. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jason Grilli, left, picks up catcher Russell Martin after a baseball game and Pirates 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jason Grilli, left, picks up catcher Russell Martin after a baseball game and Pirates 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jason Grilli, left, picks up catcher Russell Martin after a baseball game and Pirates 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates douse traveling secretary Greg Johnson with champaign and beer after a baseball game and 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. Johnson has been in his post for 30 years. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates' Neil Walker rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • Home plate umpire Mike DiMuro calls Chicago Cubs' Nate Schierholtz out at home as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin shows DiMuro the ball during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The Pirates won 2-1. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte celebrates his home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The home run gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte celebrates his home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The home run gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte hits a home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The home run gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Justin Morneau fields a high thrown from third baseman Pedro Alvarez getting Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro at first during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • Home plate umpire Mike DiMuro calls Chicago Cubs' Nate Schierholtz out at home as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin shows DiMuro the ball during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. The Pirates won 2-1. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jason Grilli, left, picks up catcher Russell Martin after a baseball game and Pirates 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Pittsburgh Pirates are headed to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years, clinching at least a National League wild card last night when they beat the Chicago Cubs, 2-1, and the Washington Nationals lost to St. Louis.

It will be Pittsburgh’s first trip to the postseason since Barry Bonds, Jim Leyland and Co. won three straight NL East titles from 1990-92. Bonds then left for San Francisco as a free agent, and the small-budget Pirates piled up 20 consecutive losing records – the longest streak in the four major professional sports.

Starling Marte hit a tie-breaking homer in the ninth inning at Wrigley Field, and the Pirates threw out a runner at the plate for the final out.

The Pirates doused each other in champagne in the visitors’ clubhouse once St. Louis’ 4-3 win over the Nationals became final.

Cardinals 4, Nationals 3

Carlos Beltran homered, Adam Wainwright earned his 18th win and St. Louis eliminated Washington from playoff contention.

Looking for their first NL Central title since 2009, the Cardinals maintained a two-game lead over Cincinnati and Pittsburgh and reduced their magic number to four.

All three teams are headed to the postseason. St. Louis secured no worse than a wild card on Sunday.

Reds 3, Mets 2, 10 inn.

Shin-Soo Choo drove in the winning run with a single off the wall in the 10th inning, and Cincinnati secured a playoff spot moments after beating New York.

Second-place Cincinnati clinched at least an NL wild card when Washington lost to first-place St. Louis just a few minutes after the Reds’ game ended. Cincinnati Manager Dusty Baker said there would be no celebration of a wild-card clinching, not with a second straight NL Central title still in play.

Brewers 5, Braves 0

Marco Estrada pitched seven innings, Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy homered and Milwaukee beat Atlanta.

The NL East champion Braves began the night with the league’s best record, 1½ games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who did not play yesterday, moved two games back.

Atlanta has the majors’ best home record at 52-23, but the Brewers led 4-0 in the eighth when Aramis Ramirez homered off reliever Anthony Varvaro.

Marlins 4, Phillies 0

Nathan Eovaldi pitched into the eighth inning to help Miami beat Philadelphia.

Justin Ruggiano drew a bases loaded walk in the first inning and the Marlins scored three runs in the eighth on RBI singles by Donovan Solando and Ed Lucas and a sacrifice fly by Christian Yelich.

Eovaldi (4-6) allowed three hits over 72∕3 innings.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Rays 5, Orioles 4

Wil Myers tied it with a two-run single on a jarring play in the seventh inning, then pinch-hitter James Loney stunned the Orioles with a leadoff homer in the ninth, and Tampa Bay completed a four-game sweep that put a serious damper in Baltimore’s wild-card hopes.

The Orioles lost All-Star third baseman Manny Machado to a leg injury in the top of the seventh.

The win pushed the Rays a full game ahead of idle Cleveland for the top AL wild card. Baltimore fell five games behind the Indians with six games to go for both teams.

Chris Davis hit his major league-best 52nd homer for Baltimore.

RANGERS 12, ASTROS 0

Alex Rios hit for the cycle and Derek Holland (10-9) struck out nine in his second shutout of the season as Texas started its final push for a playoff spot.

The Rangers pulled within a game of idle Cleveland for the second AL wild-card berth with six games remaining.

WHITE SOX 3, BLUE JAYS 2

Jose Quintana pitched into the eighth inning and rookie Marcus Semien hit his first major league homer to lead Chicago.

Quintana (9-6), who entered the game with the most no-decisions in the American League at 17, allowed two runs and five hits in 71∕3 innings. Addison Reed pitched the ninth inning to record his 39th save.

Toronto starter J.A. Happ (4-7) threw 110 pitches in his five innings, allowing three runs and eight hits.

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.