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Braves claim 1st NL East title since '13

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) Freddie Freeman stood soaked in champagne with music blaring and his teammates jamming in celebration.

This was just how the longtime star first baseman envisioned it when the Atlanta Braves began spring training seven months ago.

"You could tell after the first week of workouts that we had the talent to do something special," Freeman said. "Obviously we still needed to put it together. But this is what happens. You win the division after three straight 90-loss seasons."

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Yanks top O's in 11 to clinch wild card

NEW YORK (AP) Aaron Hicks and the New York Yankees reached the playoffs the same way they played the regular season: They got hurt, stood up and kept on going.

Hicks doubled home the winning run in the 11th inning, just after a foul ball to an ankle sent him sprawling to the dirt face-first in pain, and the Yankees clinched an AL wild card for the second straight year with a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

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Cubs beat ChiSox to extend Central lead

CHICAGO (AP) Javier Baez homered and the Chicago Cubs took advantage of huge mistake by Ryan LaMarre, beating the crosstown White Sox 8-3 on Saturday night to increase their lead in the NL Central.

Ben Zobrist added two hits and two RBIs as the Cubs moved 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Milwaukee. Coupled with the Brewers' 3-0 loss at Pittsburgh, the Cubs lowered their magic number for clinching their third straight division title to six.

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Brewers blanked, wild-card lead cut to 2

PITTSBURGH (AP) Milwaukee's offense was stymied when Trevor Williams combined with three relievers on a five-hitter that led the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-0 victory Saturday night, slowing the Brewers' playoff push.

Seeking to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011, the Brewers had their wild-card lead cut to two games over St. Louis and fell 2 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central with seven games left.

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O'Neill's HR lifts Cards by Giants in 10

ST. LOUIS (AP) Tyler O'Neill thought about it for brief moment.

The St. Louis outfielder gave strong consideration to flexing his muscles for the Busch Stadium crowd following his solo home run in the 10th inning that lifted the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.

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Nats eliminated despite 1-hitting Mets

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Washington Nationals turned in one of their best performances on the day the meaningful portion of their season ended.

Rookie Austin Voth and four relievers combined on a one-hitter, and the Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-0 on Saturday, hours after they were eliminated from playoff contention.

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Jays deal blow to Rays' slim hopes

TORONTO (AP) The Tampa Bay Rays became the latest playoff contender to lose to Toronto rookie left-hander Thomas Pannone.

Pannone pitched 6 2-3 innings to win his third straight start, Rowdy Tellez homered and drove in three and the Blue Jays beat the Rays 5-2 Saturday, dealing another blow to Tampa Bay's faint playoff hopes.

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Rockies hope to gain ground in NL chase

PHOENIX -- This spring, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black told his players they are good enough to win anywhere.

Words to live by.

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Red Sox seek franchise-record 106th win

CLEVELAND -- Two teams that have won their respective divisions three years in a row will meet Saturday night at Progressive Field for the second game of a three-game series that could be a potential preview of a postseason series.

The 105-win Boston Red Sox, the American League East champions, will face the 85-win Cleveland Indians, the AL Central champs. The two teams split a four-game series in Boston last month. Boston beat Cleveland 7-5 on Friday night, the Red Sox's 105th win of the season, tying the franchise record set in 1912.

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