Rockies nab wild card with win over S.F.

The Associated Press

DENVER The Colorado Rockies won the NL wild card spot in dramatic fashion yesterday, rallying from a six-run deficit as Larry Walker and Eric Young hit two-run homers to lead a 10-9 victory over San Francisco.

Colorado will meet the Atlanta Braves in the first round of divisional play tomorrow night at Coors Field.

Trailing 8-2 in the third after another poor starting performance from Bret Saberhagen, the Rockies came back for four runs in their half to make it 8-6, then added four more in the fifth to take a 10-8 lead.

San Francisco got a run in the seventh to cut its deficit to 10-9, but the Giants put only one runner on base in the final two innings.

Lance Painter (3-0) got the victory, going one-third of an inning in the fifth. The Rockies sent nine men to the plate in the bottom half of the inning, starting it with four straight hits off reliever Mark Leiter (10-12).

Dodgers 4, Padres 1

SAN DIEGO Tony Gwynn finished off his sixth NL batting title in style, but former replacement player Mike Busch hit a tiebreaking three-run homer as the NL West champions beat San Diego.

All but two Los Angeles regulars rested for tomorrow night's playoff opener against Cincinnati at Dodger Stadium.

Gwynn went 1-for-3 to finish at .368 and win the NL batting crown for the second year in a row and the sixth time in his 13-year career. His closest pursuer, Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza, sat out Sunday's game and finished with a .346 average.

Busch homered off Brian Williams (3-10) with two outs in the seventh inning to break a 1-1 tie. Omah Dahl (4-0) pitched three innings in relief to get the win.

Mets 1, Braves 0

11 innings

NEW YORK Brad Woodall walked Tim Bogar with the bases loaded in the 11th inning as New York beat Atlanta and completed a season-ending sweep of the NL East champions.

New York stretched its winning streak to six and tied a club record by winning its 11th consecutive home game.

Terrell Wade (0-1), the eighth Atlanta pitcher, walked Edgardo Alfonzo and Damon Buford starting the 11th and Chris Jones followed with a bunt single to the pitchers mound, loading the bases. Woodall got Jose Vizcaino to hit into a double play on his first pitch, but Carl Everett walked, again loading the bases. Bogar fell behind 1-2, then took three consecutive balls.

Pete Walker (1-0) pitched a hitless 11th for his first major league victory.

Reds 5, Expos 1

MONTREAL Tim Pugh pitched one-hit ball over five innings and Bret Boone hit a three-run homer to lead Cincinnati over Montreal.

Montreal (66-78) had its first losing season since 1991, when it also finished last in the NL East.

Pugh (6-5) allowed a third-inning single and faced one batter over the limit in his five innings of work. The right-hander struck out three and walked none.

Boone's 15th home run came in the fourth inning off Jeff Fassero (13-14). It was his first in 194 at-bats after he hit 10 in July. Fassero had more trouble throwing strikes in the fifth, walking Benito Santiago and Mariano Duncan with the bases loaded to give Cincinnati a 5-0 lead.

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