Both the Nationals and Braves were idle on Thursday. The Nationals' magic number to clinch the NL East is 11.
The Reds did not play on Thursday; they will take on the Marlins in Miami in a three-game series beginning Friday while the Cardinals continue their series in Los Angeles. The Reds' magic number for clinching the NL Central is 8.
The Giants had the day off, and the Dodgers fell another half-game off the pace with a loss to the Cardinals. San Francisco's magic number to clinch the NL West is 12.
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Astros 6, Phillies 4: The Astros, just two losses shy of the century mark, played spoiler for the Phillies last night by staging a late rally and halting the Phils' seven-game win streak. Jed Lowrie, in his second game off the DL, smacked a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning as the Astros plated three in the frame. Houston third baseman Matt Dominguez bopped his third homer since Aug. 31.
Cardinals 2, Dodgers 1: Lance Lynn hurled six innings of one-run ball for the Cardinals, who held off Josh Beckett and the Dodgers to take a two-game lead for the second wild card. Yadier Molina contributed a 3-for-4 effort and threw out a pair of baserunners, including the speedy Dee Gordon, while Allen Craig's seeing-eye single in the seventh inning plated the deciding run. Adrian Gonzalez drove in the Dodgers' lone run in the first inning. Los Angeles has bumbled to a 3-7 record in its last 10 games and has lost four consecutive contests.
Up Next: The National League swings back into action tomorrow, and a postseason preview might be in the works as the Nationals take on the Braves in a three-game set in Atlanta. The Cardinals are set to continue their tango with the Dodgers, and in an NL West showdown, the Giants visit the Diamondbacks in Arizona. The Pirates have a prime opportunity to gain ground in the wild-card race during their three-game set with the Cubs, while the Phillies still have the opportunity to steamroll the Astros.