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Playoffs still possible for Cardinals

St. Louis' Albert Pujols watches his 13th inning walk-off home run against Astros' Dan Miceli.
St. Louis' Albert Pujols watches his 13th inning walk-off home run against Astros' Dan Miceli.
Tom Gannam, Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Albert Pujols homered in the 13th inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Houston Astros 3-2 Saturday, keeping their faint playoff hopes alive.

The Astros lead the NL Central by one game over the Chicago Cubs, who were scheduled to play later at Pittsburgh, and five over the Cardinals. St. Louis has six games to go, including the series finale against Houston on Sunday.

Fernando Vina had three hits and a walk for the Cardinals, who snapped a five-game losing streak against the Astros.

Pujols has 114 career homers, tied with Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner (1946-48) for the most in a player's first three seasons.

MARLINS 6, BRAVES 5: At Atlanta, Miguel Cabrera homered in the 11th inning and the Marlins took the NL wild-card lead with a victory over the Braves on Saturday night.

The Marlins pulled a half-game ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies, who lost to Cincinnati.

Cabrera lined a pitch from Will Cunnane (2-2) into the seats in left leading off the 11th. Starting pitcher Brad Penny hit a three-run double earlier.

The Braves tied it with two runs in the ninth off closer Braden Looper. Javy Lopez cut it to 5-4 with his 42nd homer of the season — and 41st as a catcher. That matched the major league record for backstops set by Todd Hundley of the New York Mets in 1996.

REDS 2, PHILLIES 0: At Philadelphia, Todd Van Poppel and two relievers combined on a four-hitter for Cincinnati, costing Philadelphia its wild-card lead.

Van Poppel (1-1) allowed four hits in 6 1-3 innings, his longest outing in five years. He struck out five and walked two.

Wily Mo Pena had an RBI single and Ryan Freel drove in a run on a fielder's choice grounder for the injury-depleted Reds.

PIRATES 8, CUBS 2: At Pittsburgh, rookie Ryan Vogelsong allowed only an unearned run over seven dominant innings, and Pittsburgh stalled Chicago's run at the playoffs.

The Cubs' second loss in a row to the non-contending Pirates kept them from closing within a half-game of the NL Central lead.

DIAMONDBACKS 10, BREWERS 4: At Milwaukee, Luis Gonzalez drove in three runs and Elmer Dessens won for the first time in almost a month as Arizona beat Milwaukee.

Dessens (8-8), who lost and had four no-decisions since his last victory Aug. 21, gave up two runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked two as the Diamondbacks won for the sixth time in seven games.

Jose Valverde got four outs for his 10th save in 11 chances.

EXPOS 4, METS 3 (10): At New York, Todd Zeile's home run in the 10th inning lifted Montreal to a victory over the Mets, New York's seventh straight loss.

Zeile homered off Mike Stanton (2-7), keeping Montreal mathematically alive in the NL wild-card race. The stumbling Mets have lost 15 of 16. They also dropped seven straight earlier this month.

PADRES 11, ROCKIES 3: At Denver, Gary Bennett drove in a career-high five runs, and Phil Nevin homered and had three RBIs to lead San Diego over Colorado.

GIANTS 6, DODGERS 0: At Los Angeles, Kirk Rueter and two relievers combined to shut out the Dodgers.