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..
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