Marlins beat Nats 4-2; Braves, Cards clinch
By HARVEY VALENTINE
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich homered to lift the Miami Marlins over the Washington Nationals 4-2 in the opener of Sunday's day-night doubleheader, a result that clinched playoff berths for the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals.
Washington can win no more than 90 games, ensuring Atlanta (91-63) its first NL East title since 2005. St. Louis (91-64), which leads the NL Central, is assured no worse than a wild-card berth.
The Nationals, who honored retiring manager Davey Johnson with a 15-minute pregame celebration, began the day 4 1/2 games behind Cincinnati for the final NL wild card and have just seven games remaining.
Miami had been 0-8 at National Park this season and starter Tom Koehler (4-10) had been 0-4 in eight starts since Aug. 1. Koehler allowed two runs and three hits in six innings, and Steve Cishek pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save in 34 chances, completing a four-hitter and a scoreless day for the Marlins' bullpen.
Dan Haren (9-14) lost to Miami for the third time this year, giving up three runs and eight hits in six innings.
Washington's Stephen Strasburg (7-9) was to start the night game against Brian Flynn (0-2).
Stanton's 24th homer, a two-run drive, put the Marlins ahead in the third and Yelich added a solo shot in the third.
Ryan Zimmerman homered in the sixth, his 26th of the season and 11th of September.
Donovan Solano drove in Miami's final run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
NOTES: The ceremony honoring Johnson included a pair of video tributes and the presentation of an engraved Tiffany crystal keepsake. ... Juan Pierre got his 2,216th hit, moving past Joe DiMaggio for sole possession of 175th place. ... Stanton has hit safely in 23 of 29 games at Nationals Park with 13 home runs.
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