Brad Snyder hit an RBI single off Heath Bell with one out in the ninth inning to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 1-0 win over San Diego on Thursday, pushing the Padres to the cusp of elimination from the playoff race.
The loss reduced San Francisco's magic number for clinching the NL West to one and idle Atlanta's magic number for clinching the NL wild card to two.
The Padres trail San Francisco by three games going into the final three-game series at San Francisco. It's the first time the Padres have trailed by three games since April 17. The Padres are two games behind Atlanta, which closes with a home series against the NL East champion Philadelphia Phillies.
San Diego, which started the season with the second-lowest payroll in the majors, led the division for much of the summer until staggering down the stretch.
San Diego had only three hits. It was the second time in the four-game series that San Diego lost 1-0. The Cubs took three of four.
Chris Narveson matched a season-high with nine strikeouts, Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run double after Jose Reyes dropped a routine popup and the Brewers beat New York 9-2 to ensure the Mets will finish with a second-straight losing season. Casey McGehee got his 100th RBI in the eighth inning on one of several sloppy plays by the Mets that helped the Brewers win for the seventh time in nine games. Corey Hart notched his 100th two batters later - on a clean single. ... Chris Carpenter threw his first complete game of the season and the Cardinals beat the Rockies 6-1. Carpenter snapped a four-game losing streak - during which he posted a 7.17 ERA - with the four-hitter. ... Mike Stanton homered and drove in five runs and the Marlins held on for an 11-9 victory over the Pirates. Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer off Jose Veras in the ninth to pull the Pirates within 11-9. Leo Nunez came in to record his 30th save in 38 opportunities. ... Drew Stubbs homered and drove in four runs to help the Reds stay alive in the race for home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 9-1 victory over the Astros.
Around the AL
Jose Bautista hit home runs No. 53 and 54, including a grand slam, and the Blue Jays went deep six times in a 13-2 victory over the stumbling Twins. ... Vladimir Guerrero drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth and Cliff Lee pitched seven innings in his final tuneup before the playoffs, leading the Rangers past the Angels 3-2. Nelson Cruz, who had three hits, doubled to right and stole third on a pitch in the dirt with one out in the eighth. Guerrero lined a single to left off reliever Jordan Walden to give Texas the lead.