Denver: Pittsburgh clinched a play-off spot for the third straight year by winning 13-7 at Colorado on Wednesday, with Neil Walker recording a career-high six RBIs, including a three-run homer.
The Pirates are guaranteed of at least a wild card but still have a chance of overtaking St Louis, who lead the National League Central division by four games. Both teams have 10 games to play in the regular season, including a potentially decisive series between them at Pittsburgh.
The Los Angeles Dodgers moved closer to being the third NL side to book a play-off position as they ended a four-game losing skid by downing Arizona.
In the American League, Kansas City edged Seattle in 10 innings to move in on the first division title for the Brewers since 1985, and Toronto widened their lead over New York in the AL East division by shutting out the Yankees.
Pittsburgh’s Walker provided the bulk of the offence, with a mistimed two-run single in the first and a towering three-run homer in the third off fill-in Colorado starter Christian Bergman (3-1).
Walker ended his night with a run-scoring single as part of a six-run ninth which broke open a previously tight game.
Despite the victory and the securing of a play-off spot, the Pirates could not make up ground on St. Louis, which cruised to a 10-2 home win against Cincinnati.
Matt Carpenter hit a pair of two-run homers and Lance Lynn pitched six scoreless innings for the Cardinals, who improved their major league-best record to 96-56.
Randal Grichuk and Peter Bourjos also homered as the Cardinals hit four for the first time this season.
Los Angeles’ Chase Utley hit a leadoff homer and added a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth inning to lift the Dodgers to a 4-1 victory over Arizona.
Utley’s double to the wall in right field in the eighth drove in Jimmy Rollins, whose bunt single leading off the inning was Los Angeles’ first hit since Utley’s homer on the first pitch.
The Dodgers moved seven games clear atop the NL West.
Toronto moved 3-1/2 games clear of the Yankees atop the AL East, thanks to three-run shot by Russell Martin which set up a 4-0 win.
Martin, who used to play for the Yankees, connected off Andrew Bailey in the seventh. Martin matched his career high for homers with 21 as Toronto took two of three games in the vital series.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman (3-0) gave up no runs and one walk in seven innings in his third outing since returning from a long-term knee injury. He lowered his ERA to 1.89.