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Washington Nationals beat St. Louis Cardinals 6-4

ST. LOUIS -- Michael Morse circled the bases for a grand slam after taking an imaginary swing, and the Washington Nationals cut their magic number for winning the NL East to one Saturday night, beating St. Louis 6-4 on Kurt Suzuki's two-run double in the 10th inning.

The Nationals were forced to wait at least another day when second-place Atlanta won.

St. Louis' magic number for clinching the second NL wild-card spot remained at three.

The Nationals opened the game with a blast, and a bit of comedy.

Morse's drive with the bases loaded cleared the wall but caromed back onto the field, sending runners and fielders scurrying. The umpires reviewed the ball on replay and confirmed it was indeed a grand slam.

The umps ordered all runners to retrace their steps and Morse back to the plate. He mimicked his swing minus a bat, then made his trip around the bases.

Brewers 9, Astros 5 In Milwaukee, Marco Estrada struck out 11 in eight shutout innings, Corey Hart homered twice and the Brewers beat the Astros.

The Brewers began the day barely in the playoff race, a year after they reached the NL championship series. Any Milwaukee loss or St. Louis win would mean elimination.

Hart drove in four runs to back Estrada (5-7), who won for the third time in four starts. The right-hander allowed only four singles and a walk after giving up six earned runs in just four innings against Washington in his last outing.

Houston hit three home runs in the ninth to score five times off reliever Livan Hernandez. Fernando Martinez and Brian Bogusevic hit two-run homers and Tyler Greene added a solo shot.

Braves 2, Mets 0 In Atlanta, Mike Minor pitched 6 1-3 sharp innings to win his fifth straight decision, Martin Prado and Jason Heyward each had an RBI and the Braves beat the Mets.

Chipper Jones, who played his next-to-last regular-season game at Turner Field, was hitless in four at-bats.

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Arizona Diamondbacks' Mike Jacobs slides safely around the tag of Chicago Cubs catcher Wellington Castillo on an RBI single by Diamondbacks' Trevor Cahill during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Phoenix, Saturday. (AP)



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