ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals clinched their first NL Central title in four years, beating the Chicago Cubs 7-0 Friday night behind the strong pitching of Lance Lynn and home runs by David Freese and Matt Holliday.
St. Louis (95-65) has won six of seven and is tied with Atlanta for the best record in the NL. They are assured of home-field advantage when the NL division series starts Thursday.
Lynn (15-10) struck out six in a row, starting with Dioner Navarro to end the first.
Travis Wood (9-12) gave up three runs and four hits, leaving after just one inning — when he reached 200 in a season for the first time.
Giants 7, Padres 3
At San Francisco, Hunter Pence hit his career-best 26th home run to back a shaky outing by Ryan Vogelsong and the Giants beat the Padres.
Brandon Belt and Juan Perez also homered for San Francisco in the first game of the season-ending series between two teams battling to stay out of the cellar in the NL West.
Vogelsong (4-6) gave up a pair of runs in the first three innings and had to pitch out of a two-on, two-out jam in the sixth to win for the first time since Aug. 25.
Burch Smith (1-3) allowed six runs and eight hits over 52/3 innings. The San Diego rookie walked three and struck out eight, giving him 42 in 31 innings.
Pirates 4, Reds 1
At Cincinnati, Marlon Byrd had three hits and Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run homer high off the batter's eye, leading the Pirates over the Reds in a series that will decide the NL wild-card game host.
With the Cardinals clinching the Central title, it comes down to who gets to host the wild-card playoff next Tuesday night, and the Pirates are one win away from taking it to PNC Park.
Dodgers 11, Rockies 0
At Los Angeles, Clayton Kershaw scattered four hits over six innings, Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis each homered and drove in three runs and the Dodgers beat the Rockies.
Kershaw (16-9) lowered his ERA to 1.83, becoming the first pitcher to lead the majors in ERA in three consecutive seasons since Atlanta's Greg Maddux from 1993-95.
Braves 1, Phillies 0
At Atlanta, Chris Johnson led off the eighth inning with a homer to spoil an otherwise dominant start by Cliff Lee, Kris Medlen allowed only two hits in eight innings and the Braves beat the Philadelphia.
Brewers 4, Mets 2
At New York, Norichika Aoki hit a leadoff homer, Khris Davis connected three batters later and Yovani Gallardo pitched the Brewers to a victory over the Mets.
Nationals 8, Diamondbacks 4
At Phoenix, Stephen Strasburg ended his season with a strong performance, Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos each hit three-run homers and the Nationals opened their final weekend with Davey Johnson as manager by beating the Diamondbacks.
Athletics 8, Mariners 2
At Seattle, Bartolo Colon outpitched Felix Hernandez to reach 18 wins for the fifth time in his career, Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Oakland beat Seattle in the start of Eric Wedge's final weekend as Mariners manager.
Wedge told his bosses he will not return for next season, saying it became obvious he did not have a future with the club. Seattle, which has never reached the World Series, is assured of its fourth straight losing season and dropped to 70-90.
Oakland (95-65) remained two games back of Boston (97-63) with two games left in the race for best record in the AL and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Indians 12, Twins 6
At Minneapolis, Carlos Santana and Asdrubal Cabrera both had two doubles and Jason Kipnis was a homer short of the cycle as the Cleveland Indians had 17 hits in a victory over Minnesota.
With the win and Tampa Bay's loss at Toronto, the Indians moved into a tie with the Rays for the first AL wild card, one game ahead of Texas, which beat Los Angeles. Cleveland has won eight straight and 13 of 15, taking advantage of a schedule that ends with 10 games against Houston, the Chicago White Sox and the Twins, the three worst teams in the AL this season.
Blue Jays 6, Rays 3
At Toronto, R.A. Dickey slowed Tampa Bay's stretch run, leading Toronto to a victory that stopped the Rays' seven-game winning streak.
Rangers 5, Angels 3
At Arlington, Texas, Alex Rios had a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning, and Texas finally gained some ground in the AL wild-card race with the victory over Los Angeles.
With two games left in the regular season, the Rangers still have a chance to go to the postseason for the fourth year in a row.
Yankees 3, Astros 2
At Houston, David Robertson got the save as Mariano Rivera looked on, and New York got a glimpse of its future in a win that sent Houston to its team-record 13th consecutive loss.
Red Sox 12, Orioles 3
At Baltimore, Clay Buchholz allowed three runs over seven innings and AL East champion Boston Red routed Baltimore to move closer to securing home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 53rd homer in the sixth.
Royals 6, White Sox 1
At Chicago, James Shields struck out 10 and scattered four hits over seven innings for his 100th career win, and Kansas City's victory ensured Chicago its worst record since 1970.
The Royals' 85th win is their most since 1989 when they were 92-70.
Marlins 3, Tigers 2
At Miami, Jhonny Peralta had a hit and an RBI double in his first game since completing a 50-game suspension, but the Tigers lost to the Marlins.