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MLB: Cubs, Diamondbacks Clinch Playoff Spots


The Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks have clinched playoff spots, while the New York Mets moved closer to the biggest late-season collapse in Major League Baseball history.

The Cubs earned the National League Central division title Friday with a 6-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, coupled with the Milwaukee Brewers' 6-3 loss to the San Diego Padres.

The Diamondbacks clinched at least the league's wild-card playoff spot by downing the Colorado Rockies, 4-2.

The Philadelphia Phillies lead the Mets by a game in the East after shutting down the Washington Nationals, 6-0, while the Mets lost to the Florida Marlins, 7-4. New York, which led the division by seven games on September 12, could become the first team ever to fail to win a pennant when holding a seven-game lead with 17 games to play.

With the regular season ending Sunday, four teams are trying to earn the two remaining spots in the eight-team playoffs - the Phillies, Mets, Padres and Rockies.

The Boston Red Sox clinched the American League East title for the first time in 12 years by beating the Minnesota Twins, 5-2, coupled with the New York Yankees' 10-9 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in 10 innings. The Yankees will be the league's wild-card playoff team.

Boston and Central division champion Cleveland are tied for the best record in the American League, after the Indians beat the Kansas City Royals, 5-3.

In other games Friday, the West division champion Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics, 2-0. The Chicago White Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers, 5-2. The Toronto Blue Jays edged the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 5-4. And The Seattle Mariners scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Texas Rangers, 6-4.

In National League contests with no bearing on the playoffs, the Atlanta Braves defeated the Houston Astros, 7-2. The St. Louis Cardinals scored five late runs to down the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-1. And the Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the San Francisco Giants, 8-3.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.