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Expos Assume Wild-Card Lead

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From Associated Press

The Montreal Expos are delaying Atlanta’s celebration and trying to ensure one of their own.

David Sequi hit a two-run single in the ninth and Moises Alou followed with a two-run homer as Montreal beat the Braves, 5-1, Thursday night in Atlanta and moved ahead of San Diego in the NL wild-card race.

The Braves, whose four-game winning streak ended, still hold a five-game lead over the Expos in the NL East with four games left in the series and 10 in the season.

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“We’ve got to be realistic,” said Andy Stankiewicz, who tied the game in the eighth with a squeeze bunt.

“There are 10 games left to play and the Atlanta Braves are the premier team in the National League. Realistically, we’re looking at the wild card.”

Montreal, which has won seven of eight, is 85-67 (.559), just ahead of the Padres, who are 86-68 (.558).

Reliever Mark Wohlers (2-4) took the loss. Ugueth Urbina (10-5) got the victory.

Pittsburgh 6, Cincinnati 4--Pinch-hitter Nelson Liriano had a tie-breaking single in the sixth inning and the Pirates won at Pittsburgh, stretching their winning streak to eight games.

The three-game sweep of the Reds gave the Pirates their longest streak since an 11-game streak from July 30-Aug. 10, 1992.

Chris Peters (2-4) pitched 1 2/3 innings for the victory. Tim Pugh (1-1) was the loser.

New York 7, Philadelphia 2--Edgardo Alfonzo hit two home runs and Rey Ordonez hit his first major league homer as the Mets ended their four-game losing streak with a victory at New York.

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Mark Clark (14-11) earned the victory and Rich Hunter (3-7) took the loss.

St. Louis 5, Chicago 4--Tom Pagnozzi singled home the winning run in the 13th inning, and the Cardinals reduced their magic number for winning the NL Central to five.

St. Louis swept the Cubs for the first time since September 1988 and moved five games ahead of idle Houston with nine games left.

San Francisco 11, Colorado 4--The Giants’ Glenallen Hill drove in five runs and William VanLandingham gave up five hits over 6 1/3 innings as the Rockies’ post-season hopes were dealt a blow at San Francisco.

The Rockies remained six games behind San Diego in the wild-card race with eight games remaining and any combination of Colorado losses or Padre victories totaling three would eliminate the Rockies.

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