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Rolen homer helps Reds beat Cardinals 3-1

ST. LOUIS -- Mat Latos won his fourth straight decision to finish the regular season and Scott Rolen homered off Chris Carpenter, helping the Cincinnati Reds keep the St. Louis Cardinals' postseason plans on hold with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night.

The Cardinals' magic number for clinching the second NL wild card remained at one with a game to go, and they were left in the uncomfortable position of watching the Dodgers on television and rooting for a loss for the second straight night. Los Angeles, which began the day two games back with two remaining, played at home against the Giants later Tuesday.

The 37-year-old Carpenter (0-2) has a wealth of big-game experience and went 4-0 in the postseason last fall for the World Series champions, memorably outdueling Philadelphia ace Roy Halladay in Game 5 of the NL division series.

Marlins 4, Mets 3, 11 innings

New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey struck out one-shot wonder Adam Greenberg, but also gave up two homers in his final start of a Cy Young-hopeful season and the Mets lost to the Marlins.

The Marlins' Greenberg struck out on three pitches against Dickey when he batted for the first time in seven years in the sixth inning. Greenberg signed a one-day contract before the game, his first since he was beaned in his major league debut in 2005.

Donovan Solano hit a game-winning, bases-loaded one-out single off Collin McHugh (0-4).

In his bid for his 21st victory, Dickey left after six innings trailing 3-0, but the Mets rallied with three runs in the eighth to tie the game. After Marlins rookie Jacob Turner allowed one run in 7 2-3 innings, beleaguered former All-Star Heath Bell helped blow their lead.

Nationals 4, Phillies 2 A smile crept across Adam LaRoche's face while he rounded the bases Tuesday night after hitting his career-high 33rd homer to become the third Nationals player with 100 RBIs in a season, another celebratory moment for NL East champion Washington during a victory over the Phillies.

When the Nationals Park gates opened, early-arriving fans in the crowd of 33,546 were treated to a video montage of alcohol-spraying and general mirth-making from a night earlier, when the home team clinched its first division title since moving from Montreal in 2005.

Even the guy playing the national anthem on his bat-violin Tuesday wore a gray T-shirt marking the accomplishment.

Pirates 5, Braves 1 Kevin Correia pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Garrett Jones homered and the Pirates won consecutive games for the first time in four weeks, beating the Braves.

The Pirates (79-82) tied for their most wins in a season since their North American major professional sports record streak of 20 losing seasons began in 1993. The 1999 Pirates went 79-83.

A day after being eliminated from the NL East division title race, the wild-card Braves rested several regulars and shuffled players in and out of the lineup throughout the game. Atlanta will host the NL wild-card game Friday.

Other games on Tuesday:

Astros 3, Cubs 0

Brewers 4, Padres 3

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 3

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Cincinnati Reds' Scott Rolen, right, is congratulated by third base coach Mark Berry while rounding the bases after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis, Tuesday, Oct. 2. (AP)

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