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Updated: September 24, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Pirates, Reds complete Play-Off field National League
CINCINNATI, Ohio / CHICAGO, Illinois (USA) - Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates clinched a spot in the National League Play-Offs on Monday-evening. With this, the field of participants for the post-season in the National League is now set. But the final ranking in the Central Division is still undecisive, as is the pairings of the teams in the Play-Offs.

Last Thursday, Los Angeles Dodgers captured the title in the West Division, then Atlanta Braves won the championship in the East Division last Sunday.

In the meantime, St. Louis Cardinals, the league-leader in the Central Division, also secured a spot in the post-season. On Monday, the Cards were joined by the Reds and Pirates.

After Monday's games, the Reds and Pirates shared second place and thus the Wild Card-position. Unless something goes wrong, the Cardinals will capture the title in the NL-Central. And so, the Reds and Pirates, who are still in contention for first place, will meet each other in the Wild Card Play-Off following the regular season. In the upcoming days, they will play for home field advantage of the one-game Play-Off. Starting next Friday, the Reds and Pirates meet each other in a 3-game series at Cincinnati, which closes the season.

Pittsburgh Pirates won a thriller vs. Chicago Cubs 2-1, then had to wait for the result of the Washington Nationals. Some 20 minutes after completion of their game, the Pirates saw the Nationals end their game against the Cardinals with a 4-3 loss and so, Pittsburgh officially qualified for the Play-Offs. It marks the first time since 1992 that Pittsburgh is playing again in a post-season.

In its game against the Cubs, Pittsburgh broke an 1-1 tie in the ninth inning when Starling Marte homered. In the home of the ninth, the game ended when Nate Schierholtz tried to score on a single in right-centerfield, but was tagged out.

Cincinnati Reds qualified for the Play-Offs with a 3-2 win against New York Mets. In the home of the 10th inning, Shin-Soo Choo hit a walk-off single off the leftfield-wall (just missing a homerun) to bring in Devin Mesoraco with the winning run. After winning, the Reds then had to wait for the results of the Pirates and Nationals, before officially reaching the post-season for the third time in the last four years. They won the Central-title in 2010 and 2012.

(September 24)

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