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Rockies beat Brewers to progress

The Colorado Rockies clinch a play-off berth after their 9-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers guaranteed them at least a wild-card place.

The Colorado Rockies clinched a play-off berth on Thursday after their 9-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers guaranteed them at least a wild-card place. The Rockies moved two games behind National League West leaders Los Angeles and could take the title by sweeping the Dodgers in a three-game series between them which began last night. Colorado starter Aaron Cook pitched eight innings and gave up one run on four hits, while Garrett Atkins had three RBIs to help the Rockies secure just their third post-season appearance.

"It was a long road to get here. It took more than the 25 guys that are going to go into the post-season," Colorado pitcher Huston Street said. The Rockies (91-68) have enjoyed a second-half resurgence, going 73-40 since Jim Tracy took over at the end of May. They were 18-28 when manager Clint Hurdle was sacked. The Houston Astros were 5-3 winners against the Phillies, while the Atlanta Braves, second behind the Phillies in the East Division, went down 2-1 against the visiting Washington Nationals. The San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3.

The St Louis Cardinals had Chris Carpenter to thank as they beat the Cincinnati Reds 13-0. The veteran tossed five shut-out innings, scored his first career homer and equalled his best figures with six RBIs. The Pittsburgh Pirates' clash with the Chicago Cubs in Illinois was cancelled due to rain. In the American League, the Minnesota Twins kept their faint hopes alive with an 8-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Jon Lester was the key pitcher in the Boston Red Sox's 3-0 shut-out of the Cleveland Indians. The Los Angeles Angels went down 11-3 at home to the Texas Rangers. The Baltimore Orioles were 3-2 winners at the Tampa Bay Rays while Seattle beat the Oakland Athletics 4-2. * With agencies

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