Giants clinch NL West with victory over Padres

Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO Jason Schmidt had 11 strikeouts in his 16th win, and Andres Galarraga and Marquis Grissom each hit a two-run homer as the Giants beat the San Diego Padres 8-3 Wednesday night to clinch the NL West title and their third playoff berth in four seasons.

By taking first place on opening day and never letting go, the defending NL champions became just the ninth wire-to-wire winner of a division or pennant in baseball history. The last three Baltimore in 1997, Cleveland in 1998 and Seattle in 2001 failed to reach the World Series.

Diamondbacks 2, Dodgers 0

LOS ANGELES Rookie Brandon Webb and Matt Mantei combined on a three-hitter, and Luis Gonzalez homered twice as Arizona beat Los Angeles.

The Dodgers' second straight loss dropped them 3 1/2 games behind Florida in the NL wild-card race with 12 games remaining. The loss, combined with San Francisco's 8-3 win over San Diego clinched the NL West title for the Giants.

Marlins 11, Phillies 4

PHILADELPHIA Jeff Conine homered, drove in three runs and made two outstanding defensive plays in left field, leading Florida over Philadelphia.

The Marlins increased their NL wild-card lead to 1 1/2 games over the Phillies. The teams play again at Veterans Stadium on Thursday and have a three-game series in Florida next week.

Cubs 2, Mets 0

CHICAGO Kerry Wood struck out 11 in his fourth complete game of the year, and Doug Glanville and Aramis Ramirez homered as Chicago completed a three-game sweep.

The sweep was Chicago's fourth of the season, but its first at home. The Cubs hadn't swept the Mets since taking a four-game series at Wrigley Field in August 1992. Chicago is now with a half-game of division-leading Houston in the NL Central.

Braves 14, Expos 4

MONTREAL Mike Hampton allowed three hits in five innings and hit a home run as the Atlanta Braves closed in on their record 12th straight division title.

Javy Lopez and Andruw Jones also homered, and manager Bobby Cox got his 1,900th win as Atlanta reduced its magic number for winning the NL East to one.

Pirates 8, Reds 5

PITTSBURGH Matt Stairs hit a two-run homer, and Jeff D'Amico won at home for the first time in more than two months as Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati.

D'Amico (9-15) came in tied for the NL lead in losses, but was staked to an early lead. He gave up four runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings for his first win at PNC Park since July 6.

Brewers 7, Cardinals 6

ST. LOUIS Jason Conti drove in a career-high five runs, including a go-ahead single in the ninth inning that helped Milwaukee rally past St. Louis.

Pinch-hitter Brooks Kieschnick tied it with a two-run homer off Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen, who blew a 6-4 lead in the ninth.

Rockies 7, Astros 5

DENVER Todd Helton hit a three-run homer and pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney had a two-run single, leading Darren Oliver and Colorado over Houston.

The loss trimmed Houston's lead over the Chicago Cubs to a half-game in the NL Central.

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