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Last updated: September 20. 2013 12:19AM - 745 Views
The Associated Press



Hanley Ramirez homered twice on Thursday against the Diamondbacks to help the Dodgers clinch a division title.
Hanley Ramirez homered twice on Thursday against the Diamondbacks to help the Dodgers clinch a division title.
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PHOENIX — The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to clinch a postseason berth, wrapping up their first NL West title since 2009 when they rallied past the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 on Thursday behind two homers from Hanley Ramirez.


Despite an NL-high payroll of $214 million-plus on opening day, the Dodgers got off to an 30-42 start and were last in the division, 9½ games behind the first-place Diamondbacks, before play on June 22. Los Angeles has gone 58-23 since.


The Dodgers trailed 6-3 in the sixth and A.J. Ellis hit a tiebreaking homer off Josh Collmenter (4-4) leading off the eighth.


J.P. Howell (2-1) got two outs for the victory.


Rockies 7, Cardinals 6


DENVER — Corey Dickerson’s RBI triple with one out in the bottom of the 15th inning gave Colorado a victory over St. Louis.


Charlie Blackmon finished with four hits and Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton homered for the Rockies in tying the second-longest game in Coors Field history.


Matt Holliday had three hits for the Cardinals, who had their NL Central Division lead over Pittsburgh trimmed to one game. The Pirates beat San Diego 10-1 on Thursday.


DJ LeMahieu started the winning rally with a one-out single to right. Dickerson then drilled a line drive into the right-field corner as LeMahieu rounded the bases. The relay from second baseman Matt Carpenter beat LeMahieu but catcher Yadier Molina couldn’t control the ball as LeMahieu crawled to touch home.


Pirates 10, Padres 1


PITTSBURGH — Neil Walker had four hits, including his 11th homer of the season, and drove in three runs to lead Pittsburgh over San Diego to stop a three-game losing streak.


Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 34th homer for Pittsburgh. Jose Tabata added two hits and three RBIs as the Pirates moved a game in front of Cincinnati for the top wild card spot in the NL. The rivals begin a three-game series in Pittsburgh on Friday.


Gerrit Cole (9-7) struck out a career-high 12 while allowing one run and four hits in six innings.


Pittsburgh scored four runs total while losing three straight games to the Padres but scored five in the fourth against Ian Kennedy (6-10). Alvarez homered to center with one out to give Pittsburgh the lead.


Nationals 3, Marlins 2


WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer to back an effective pitching performance by Gio Gonzalez, and Washington beat Miami to keep alive a slim hope of reaching the playoffs.


Despite winning 11 of 13 in a belated run, the Nationals trail Cincinnati by five games for the final NL wild-card slot with nine games remaining.


Denard Span went 0 for 4 for Washington, ending his hitting streak at 29 games — one short of the Nationals record. He was bidding to become the 27th player to have a 30-game hitting streak since Joe DiMaggio had his 56-game run in 1941.


Gonzalez (11-7) allowed two runs and seven hits over six innings to improve to 3-0 against Miami this season. He struck out three, lifting his team-high total to 186.


Giants 2, Mets 1


NEW YORK — Madison Bumgarner struck out 10 in seven innings of four-hit ball, outpitching Jonathon Niese to lead San Francisco over New York.


Juan Perez went 3 for 3 with an RBI single in his hometown, and the World Series champions won for the eighth time in 11 games. After taking two of three from the Mets, the Giants don’t even have to change hotels — they stay in New York this weekend to play three interleague games at Yankee Stadium.


Scores of San Francisco fans filled an otherwise empty Citi Field all series, and the Giants received a loud ovation as they walked off the field following the final out.


Cubs 5, Brewers 1


MILWAUKEE — Luis Valbuena, Nate Schierholtz and Brian Bogusevic homered, and Chicago beat Milwaukee to stop a five-game losing streak.


Jake Arrieta (3-2) didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the fourth when former-Cub Aramis Ramirez singled between second and third. Carlos Gomez hit a solo homer in the seventh.


Arrieta allowed three hits, struck out five, walked one and drove in a run.


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