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>>Cards Clobber Astros, Clinch NL Wild Card

(Houston, TX)  --  The Cardinals clinched the National League Wild Card due in part to an 8-0 clobbering of the Astros on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.  Following the victory, the Cards watched as the Braves suffered a 4-3 loss to the Phillies in 13 innings.  The win coupled with Atlanta's loss gave the Cards the final playoff spot in the NL.  St. Louis will face the Phillies in Game One of their NL division series in Philadelphia Saturday.  Chris Carpenter struck out 11 in a two-hit shutout.  Carpenter upped his record to 11-and-9.  The Cards scored five runs in the first inning in the win.  Brett Myers gave up seven runs, six earned, through five frames to fall to 7-and-14 on the season.  The 'Stros finished the season at an MLB-worst 56-and-106.

>>Cubs Lose Season Finale To Padres

(San Diego, CA)  --  Wade LeBlanc threw seven strong innings and the Padres ended a woeful 2011 season on a high note with a 9-2 rout of the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night at Petco Park.  The 2011 season for the Cubs was a breakout one for Starlin Castro.  The 21-year-old shortstop became the youngest player in NL history to top the league in hits with 207.  Ryan Dempster, who was charged with eight hits and a season-high nine runs over five-and-two-third frames, lost his last six decisions to end at 10-and-14 on the season.  The Northsiders finished the season with a mark of 71-and-91.

>>Jays Rally To Top White Sox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Mark Teahen and Adam Loewen each walked with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth as the Blue Jays rallied to beat the White Sox, 3-2, in both team's season finale on Wednesday afternoon at The Cell.  Shawn Camp earned the win out of the bullpen, and Frank Francisco recorded his 17th save.  Chris Sale took the loss for Chicago.  Gordon Beckham lifted a solo shot for the Sox, who were under the direction of pitching coach Don Cooper after Ozzie Guillen was named the manager of the Florida Marlins.  Chicago finished its 2011 campaign with a mark of 79-and-83.

MLB NL
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New York Mets 3, Cincinnati Reds 0
Colorado Rockies 6, San Francisco Giants 3
Washington Nationals 3, Florida Marlins 1
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Atlanta Braves 3 (13 inn)
St. Louis Cardinals 8, Houston Astros 0
Milwaukee Brewers 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
San Diego Padres 9, Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 7, Arizona Diamondbacks 5
(End of Regular Season)

MLB AL
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Toronto Blue Jays 3, Chicago White Sox 2
Baltimore Orioles 4, Boston Red Sox 3
Detroit Tigers 5, Cleveland Indians 4
Tampa Bay Rays 8, New York Yankees 7 (12 inn)
Texas Rangers 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 1
Minnesota Twins 1, Kansas City Royals 0
Oakland Athletics 2, Seattle Mariners 0

>>MLB Playoffs Set After Improbable Wednesday

(Undated)  --  The playoff field in Major League Baseball is set after an improbable night of action on the final day of the regular season.  The Tampa Bay Rays secured the AL Wild Card in dramatic fashion.  The Rays entered Wednesday tied with the Boston Red Sox for the final AL Wild Card spot.  Just moments after Boston allowed two runs in the bottom of the ninth in a 4-3 loss to the Orioles, Evan Longoria hit a walk-off solo homer in the 12th to give the Rays an 8-7 win over the Yankees.  The Red Sox had a nine-game lead in the Wild Card race in September 4th.  No team had ever overcome that many games in September to reach the postseason.  The Rays will face the Texas Rangers in one AL Division Series.  The Yankees will take on the Detroit Tigers in the other best-of-five AL set.

In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals also clinched the Wild Card on Wednesday.  The Cards, who entered play tied with the Atlanta Braves, clobbered the Houston Astros, 8-0.  St. Louis then watched as the Braves suffered a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in 13 innings.  On August 25th, the Braves had a 10-and-a-half game lead in the Wild Card standings.  The Cardinals earned the right to face the Phillies in the NLDS with the win.  The Milwaukee Brewers will battle the Arizona Diamondbacks in the other National League Division Series.

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