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Cardinals move one win away from clinching NL Central crown

Rookie Shelby Miller won his 15th game, and Yadier Molina had the go-ahead hit for St. Louis, which wrapped up a three-game sweep of Washington and moved another step closer to the NL Central title with a 4-1 victory yesterday.

Jordan Zimmermann (19-9) missed his only shot at 20 wins, allowing four runs in seven innings. The Nationals had five hits one day after breaking up rookie Michael Wacha’s bid for a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning.

Matt Adams hit his eighth home run since replacing injured Allen Craig and doubled for the Cardinals (94-65), who are a season-high 29 games above .500.

Miller (15-9) walked two of the first three hitters to set up Bryce Harper’s RBI single. Miller allowed a run in six-plus innings.

METS 1, REDS 0

Daisuke Matsuzaka scattered four hits in 7  2∕ 3 innings to win his third consecutive start, outdueling Cincinnati’s Mat Latos.

Eric Young Jr. drove in the only run for the Mets, who won two of three in the series to further dampen Cincinnati’s hopes of hosting the NL wild-card playoff game on Tuesday.

Matsuzaka (3-3) allowed two walks and hit a batter. He struck out six and evened his record after three losses and a no-decision in his first four starts after joining the Mets in August.

He left the game with a runner on second and two outs in the eighth. Pedro Feliciano came on to walk Shin-Soo Choo before getting Joey Votto to fly out to center for the fourth time in four at-bats.

LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth for his 13th save.

CUBS 4, PIRATES 2

Darnell McDonald hit a three-run homer to lead Chicago to the win that really hurt Pittsburgh’s hopes of winning the NL Central.

With three games remaining in the regular season for each team, the Pirates trail division-leading St. Louis by three games.

The Pirates, who already have clinched a playoff spot, hold a one-game lead over Cincinnati for the first wild-card slot. Pittsburgh and the Reds finish up with a three-game set in Cincinnati this weekend.

McDonald had three hits, including his homer in the sixth inning that put the Cubs ahead 4-1.

BREWERS 4, BRAVES 0

Kyle Lohse pitched a two-hitter and Milwaukee overcame Carlos Gomez’s ejection in the first inning.

After losing three of four, Atlanta has fallen three games behind St. Louis for the NL’s best winning percentage.

Lohse (11-10) struck out five and threw just 22 of 89 pitches for balls.

Gomez, made it 1-0 in the first with his 23rd homer, but was ejected without touching home plate during a benches-clearing argument.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and reserve catcher Gerald Laird were also ejected.

MARLINS 3, PHILLIES 2

Adeiny Hechavarria drove in three runs, including a go-ahead run in the eighth inning, for Miami.

Hechavarria hit a two-run triple in the second before driving in the run that made it 3-2 on a fielder’s choice.

Justin Ruggiano walked and Placido Polanco singled for his third hit in the eighth off Ethan Martin (2-5) before Hechavarria hit a grounder to shortstop Jimmy Rollins, whose throw went wide of catcher Carlos Ruiz allowing Ruggiano to slide in safely.

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