D'Backs go out shining

Posted: Monday, September 30, 2002

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks clinched home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs, with Chad Moeller homering twice and driving in six runs Sunday for an 11-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Arizona will open the postseason Tuesday night against NL Central champion St. Louis at Bank One Ballpark.

Cardinals 4, Brewers 0

ST. LOUIS -- Edgar Renteria hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning and the St. Louis beat the Milwaukee Brewers.

The NL Central champion Cardinals open the playoffs Tuesday at Arizona.

Giants 7, Astros 0

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ryan Jensen and five relievers combined on a five-hitter as the San Francisco Giants denied Roy Oswalt his 20th victory, beating the Houston Astros to head to the playoffs on an eight-game winning streak.

A day after the Giants (95-66) clinched the NL wild card and a division series meeting with Atlanta, Barry Bonds and every regular San Francisco starter watched the season finale from the bench. They'll open the playoffs Wednesday at Turner Field.

Expos 7, Reds 2

MONTREAL -- In what might have been their final game in Montreal, the Expos beat the Cincinnati Reds after a late delay caused by fans upset that a check-swing call went against Vladimir Guerrero.

Guerrero, needing one home run to become baseball's fourth player with 40 homers and 40 stolen bases in the same season, was called out by first-base umpire Alfonso Marquez in the eighth inning.

Cubs 7, Pirates 3

CHICAGO -- Sammy Sosa hit his 499th career homer as the Chicago Cubs gave Bruce Kimm a victory in his final game as interim manager, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Kimm was fired by general manager Jim Hendry before the game and was given the option of whether the announcement should be made before or after the season finale. He decided to put out the news first, then go to the Cubs' dugout one last time,

Mets 6, Braves 1

NEW YORK -- Mike Piazza homered and drove in three runs as the New York Mets ended their worst season in six years by avoiding a four-game sweep to the Atlanta Braves.

The Mets (75-86) finished in last place for the first time since 1993 and had their most losses since going 71-91 in 1996.

Atlanta (101-58) already clinched its 11th straight division title and will open the playoffs on Wednesday against San Francisco at Turner Field.

Padres 2, Dodgers 0

LOS ANGELES -- Rookie Oliver Perez ended a nine-start winless streak Sunday as the San Diego Padres completed their season with a victory against a Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup featuring six rookies.

Manager Jim Tracy didn't start any of his regulars other than shortstop Cesar Izturis following the Dodgers' elimination Saturday from the NL wild-card race.

Marlins 4, Phillies 3, 10 innings

MIAMI -- Luis Castillo helped Florida come from behind twice to beat the Philadelphia Phillies in 10 innings, and the Marlins staged a mystifying rally to avoid finishing last in the major leagues in attendance.

There were perhaps 8,000 fans on hand Sunday, but the announced crowd of 28,599 -- second-largest of the season for the Marlins -- allowed them to overtake Montreal in season attendance.

''A friend of the community bought a large number of tickets,'' said Marlins spokesman Steve Copses, who didn't offer any further explanation.

Florida's final home attendance total was 813,118 in home attendance, an average of 10,038 per game and the lowest in team history. Montreal, which finished its final game three hours earlier than Florida, drew 812,545.

There was no fudging the Marlins' record. They finished 79-83, the ninth losing season in their 10-year history. The only time they were above .500 was in 1997, when they won the World Series.

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