SPORTS

NL Roundup: A look at Friday's games

09/17/2011 01:45 EDT | Updated 11/16/2011 05:12 EST
Marlins manager Jack McKeon wishes he had a power-packed lineup like the Milwaukee Brewers.

McKeon tipped his hat to Ryan Braun, who hit a three-run, go-ahead homer in the eighth inning to lift the Brewers to a 4-1 victory over Florida on Friday night that gave Milwaukee its first division title since 1982.

"When you look at our club, that's what we lack right now," McKeon said, referring to Braun and Prince Fielder. "Hopefully we get somebody who can do those things in the future, we'll be all right."

Fielder also homered off starter Chris Volstad, who deserved a better result than a no-decision.

"Volstad pitched a heck of a game," McKeon said. "Too bad he couldn't come up with a win."

The lanky right-hander limited the Brewers to one run on his only mistake. Fielder hit a second-inning pitch for his 35th homer to give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead.

Volstad allowed five hits, walked none and struck out five. He hasn't won a start since beating Houston 5-4 on July 10.

"That's probably the most electric (crowd) I've ever thrown in front of," Volstad said. "It was cool, it was a great atmosphere."

Florida had its chances with doubles in the first four innings. The only run came when Gaby Sanchez scored on Bryan Petersen's bloop single in the fourth that tied it at 1.

"We had our chances, and couldn't deliver, which has been the story of the whole year," McKeon said. "That's the difference. That's the pros. They're tough back-to-back. Pick your poison. Then you got a guy like Corey Hart who starts the big rally there."

Elsewhere in the National League it was: Arizona 3, San Francisco 1; Atlanta 7, Washington 4; Chicago Cubs 5, St. Louis 1; Pittsburgh 4, Cincinnati 3; Houston 11, Colorado 2; L.A. Dodgers 2, San Diego 0; and Philadelphia and the N.Y. Mets were rained out.

At Milwaukee, with chants of "M-V-P" ringing among the sellout crowd and two runners on, Braun homered off Clay Hensley (6-7) to end a 1-for-16 skid and then pointed his bat in the air toward owner Mark Attanasio and the fans before rounding the bases.

Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo pitched into the eighth, setting two franchise records for strikeouts before leaving when Emilio Bonifacio singled and second baseman Rickie Weeks couldn't handle a throw that put two on.

Francisco Rodriguez (6-2) came in and struck out Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison to end the inning, pumping his fist and beating his chest after escaping the jam.

Hart doubled off Hensley with one out and Morgan walked to bring up Braun. Milwaukee had been 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position before Braun's at-bat.

After fouling off a pitch and working the count to 3-1, Braun hit Hensley's slider to deep left-centre field off the scoreboard supports, then returned for a curtain call from the crowd of 44,584.

The Marlins never rallied as they finish out their time as the Florida Marlins before changing their name to Miami as part of a move to their new ballpark next season.

One person who may not return is Marlins closer Leo Nunez.

He admitted Friday to using fake documents and a fake ID to sign a professional contract more than a year ago. Dominican authorities arrested a man accused of falsifying Nunez's documents. The Marlins placed Nunez on the restricted list and he returned to the Dominican Republic.

"It's the first time I had a, how should I say this, a guy playing with an alias," McKeon said before the game. "I don't know what the circumstances are."

Diamondbacks 3, Giants 1

At Phoenix, the Arizona Diamondbacks completed an improbable run to their first NL West crown in four years when rookie Paul Goldschmidt lined a two-run triple in the eighth inning.

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Braves 7, Nationals 4

At Washington, D.C., Dan Uggla and the Braves knocked around Stephen Strasburg a bit in a three-run first inning, and Atlanta helped its bid for a playoff berth by beating the Nationals.

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Cubs 5, Cardinals 1

At St. Louis, Alfonso Soriano dealt the Cardinals' wild-card hopes another serious blow with his first home run of the month, a tiebreaking three-run shot in the eighth inning to lead the Cubs.

The loss dropped the Cardinals three games behind Atlanta for the wild card.

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Pirates 4, Reds 3

At Pittsburgh, Ryan Ludwick's single in the bottom of the ninth drove in the winning run and Pirates came back from a blown save in the top of the inning.

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Astros 11, Rockies 2

At Houston, Carlos Lee drove in four runs for the second straight game and Brett Myers won his fourth consecutive decision for the Astros.

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Dodgers 2, Padres 0

At San Diego, Matt Kemp moved a step closer to the NL Triple Crown with a solo homer and Ted Lilly combined with three relievers on a four-hitter, leading Los Angeles over the Padres.

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