N.L. Playoffs Chase: Saturday Morning Update

Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Luis Cruz is congratulated by manager Don Mattingly after hitting a three-run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The Dodgers are back within one game of the National League wild card after their 8-5 win over the Cardinals on Friday.

N.L. East W L
Nationals 89 55 -
Braves 82 63

Nationals 2, Braves 1: Kris Medlen struck out a career-high 13 batters and the Braves won on a throwing error in the ninth inning on Friday. Andrelton Simmons reached on an infield single to start the ninth and hurried to third when Michael Bourn hit a single to right field. Pinch hitter Tyler Pastornicky hit a grounder to shortstop Ian Desmond, who had a play at home to catch Simmons but his throw skipped all the way to the backstop as Simmons slid across the plate for the win.

N.L. Central W L
Reds 87 58 -
Cardinals 76 69 11

Marlins 4, Reds 0: Rookie Jacob Turner earned his first National League victory has he held the Reds to two hits over seven innings. The Reds managed three hits on the game and were shut out for only the third time all season, fewest in the NL. Bronson Arroyo gave up four runs in six innings to take the loss.

N.L. West W L
Giants 82 62 -
Dodgers 75 70

Giants 6, Diamondbacks 2: Matt Cain labored through a long five innings for his 14th win as the Giants topped the Diamondbacks 6-2. Cain needed 106 pitches to make it through those five innings; he gave up four hits and walked four but only gave up one run. Hunter Pence hit a grand slam in the third inning as the Giants cruised to a victory where the Diamondbacks left 15 men on base.

N.L. Wild Card W L
82 63 -
Cardinals 76 69 -
Dodgers 75 70 1
Pirates 72 71 3
Phillies 73 72 3
Brewers 72 72

Dodgers 8, Cardinals 5: The Dodgers hopped back within one game of the second wild card spot with a win over the Cardinals. Andre Ethier and Luis Cruz powered the Dodgers on a day when pitchers on both sides struggled. Neither starter lasted past the fifth inning as the teams combined to use 11 relievers. Cruz hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning and the Dodgers never looked back.

Mets 7, Brewers 3: The Mets snapped a six-game losing streak at the Brewers' playoff expense, dropping Milwaukee back to .500. Jon Niese gave up two runs over six innings to get the win and David Murphy went 2-4 with a home run to bury the Brewers. Michael Fiers struggled for the Brewers, giving up four runs on six hits and two walks over five innings.

Phillies 12, Astros 6: Jimmy Rollins hit his 20th home run and Domonic Brown added his own two-run bomb as the Phillies trounced the Astros. The surging Phililes weren't exactly sharp in the win, committing three errors in the game. Cole Hamels gave up four runs over seven innings but registered his 15th win, tying his career high from 2007. It was Hamels' first win since Aug. 18 after registering three straight no-decisions.

Cubs 7, Pirates 4: Starlin Castro hit a three-run home run to send the Pirates to their seventh straight loss. The Pirates have now dropped 11 of 13 overall and the Cubs are a significant part of the Pittsburgh fade. The Cubs have won four straight against the Pirates, including a sweep in Pittsburgh last weekend. Andrew McCutchen hit his 27th home run for the Bucs. James McDonald struggled again, giving up four runs in only 3⅔ innings while walking four. McDonald remains winless in September.

Up Next: The Dodgers look to tie for the second wild card lead as they face the Cardinals Saturday. The Giants continue their series at Arizona. The Pirates are looking to figure out the Cubs and the Phillies hope to continue beating the hapless Astros. The Braves look to close the gap between the Nationals.

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