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Cardinals close in on 100

Associated Press
Published October 2, 2005


ST. LOUIS - Larry Walker hit two home runs Saturday and the Cardinals moved within a game of becoming baseball's only 100-win team, beating the Reds 9-6.

Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer, his 41st, with one out in the first, and Walker followed with a drive off Cincinnati starter Ramon Ortiz. Walker connected off Ortiz again leading off the fourth.

It was Walker's 31st career multihomer game and his third this season. He also hit two homers off Ortiz here on June 29.

St. Louis has clinched baseball's best record and came into the final regular-season series at Busch Stadium needing a sweep of the Reds to reach 100 wins. The Cardinals move to a new ballpark next season.

The Cardinals, who won 105 games last season, are seeking back-to-back 100-win seasons for the first time since 1942-44, the only time the franchise accomplished the feat.

DODGERS 2, PADRES 1 : San Diego will go into the playoffs with a dubious distinction - they'll have the lowest winning percentage for a division winner in a non-strike season. Edwin Jackson and five relievers combined on a three-hitter for visiting Los Angeles, which snapped the Padres' four-game winning streak.

The Padres fell to 81-80. If they beat the Dodgers in today's finale, they'll finish 82-80 (.506). If they lose, they'll be .500.

MARLINS 6, BRAVES 4 : Josh Willingham and pinch-hitter Lenny Harris had two-run singles in the eighth inning, rallying host Florida in a game delayed by rain for more than three hours.

D'BACKS 2, GIANTS 1 (11): Royce Clayton lined a tiebreaking double for his fourth hit of the day as visiting Arizona earned its season-best seventh straight victory.

METS 3, ROCKIES 1 : David Wright hit his 27th home run, helping host New York beat Colorado.

PIRATES 5, BREWERS 1 : Kip Wells allowed just an earned run in 62/3 innings to avoid becoming host Pittsburgh's first 19-game loser in 20 years in a victory over Milwaukee.