The Florida Marlins clinched their first playoff berth Tuesday night with a 6-3 win over the Montreal Expos in Montreal.
The Marlins, who entered the league as an expansion team in 1993 and spent nearly $90 million on free agents this past off-season, will enter the postseason as the N.L.’s wild-card entrant.
Kevin Brown (16-8) won his seventh straight decision and set a Marlins record for strikeouts in a season, 205.
Charles Johnson’s two-out RBI single brought in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning for Florida.
Dodgers 6, Padres 2
Los Angeles picked up a game in the N.L. West as Todd Zeile homered twice and the Dodgers snapped a five-game losing streak with a victory over San Diego.
Chan Ho Park (14-8) pitched a seven-hitter and Zeile hit two solo shots to help the Dodgers move within 1-1/2 games of the division-leading San Francisco Giants.
Rockies 7, Giants 6
Andres Galarraga increased his league-leading RBIs total to 137 with a three-run homer, and San Francisco stalled with a loss to Colorado.
San Francisco got a two-run homer from Barry Bonds in a three-run ninth.
Colorado avoided elimination and closed within 4-1/2 games of first.
Pirates 5, Mets 4
Shawon Dunston hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning and Pittsburgh held its ground in the N.L. Central race with a win over New York, moments after the Mets had been eliminated from playoff contention.
The Pirates remained 3-1/2 games behind Houston, which beat Chicago 5-3. Pittsburgh won its fourth in a row, and plays tonight at Shea Stadium before ending the season with three games at the Astrodome.
Astros 5, Cubs 3
Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell homered as Houston moved closer to its first division title since 1986 by beating Chicago.
Biggio tied the score 3-all with a sixth-inning homer, and Tony Eusebio singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth off Steve Trachsel (8-12). Bagwell hit his 43rd homer in the fourth.
Braves 6, Phillies 0
Rookie Kevin Millwood allowed two hits in eight shutout innings and Andruw Jones and Michael Tucker hit consecutive homers, leading Atlanta to a win over Philadelphia.
Millwood (5-3) took a no-hitter into the seventh before Mike Lieberthal doubled to right-center with one out. The 22-year-old right-hander, making his eighth start this season, struck out a career-high eight and walked four in his longest outing.
Reds 8, Cardinals 6
Mark McGwire is hitting again, just no long balls. McGwire remained stuck on 54 home runs for the fourth game, getting a pair of singles as St. Louis lost to Cincinnati.
Clearing the bases
The Expos’ Mark Grudzielanek, who leads the majors with 54 doubles, needs one more to set a major league record for doubles in a season by a shortstop. … The Mets hired Omar Minaya as their assistant general manager, filling the void left when Steve Phillips was promoted this summer to GM. … Three of the four umpires working the Chicago-Houston game were out of uniform because their luggage didn’t make it to the Astrodome with them.
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