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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP

Expos' Downfall Continues

September 24, 1996|From Associated Press

The Montreal Expos may remember the last regular-season game at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium as the one that ended their playoff hopes.

The Atlanta Braves dealt Montreal a severe blow Monday night, defeating the Expos, 3-1, despite a lineup filled mostly with reserves.

Atlanta, which clinched its fifth consecutive division title the day before, gave most of its regulars the night off. Still, the Braves won their eighth in nine games with five strong innings from Greg Maddux and a two-run single by Jeff Blauser.

Montreal dropped to 2 1/2 games behind San Diego for the wild-card spot with only six games remaining.

The Braves did have one superstar in their lineup, Maddux (15-11), who gave up only four hits in a tuneup for the postseason. In the fourth inning, Mike Lansing and David Segui led off with singles and Lansing came home when Moises Alou hit into a double play.

Chicago 4, Pittsburgh 3--Luis Gonzalez hit a three-run homer as the Cubs stopped their eight-game losing streak and the Pirates' 11-game winning streak at Pittsburgh.

The Pirates' streak was the longest in the majors this season and continued for nearly a week after Manager Jim Leyland decided to seek a job with a contending club next season.

Steve Trachsel (13-9) gave up two runs over six innings to defeat Pittsburgh for the first time in four decisions.

St. Louis 3, Cincinnati 2--Brian Jordan reached the 100-RBI mark with a pair of run-scoring singles and the Cardinals reached the threshold of the playoffs at Cincinnati.

The Cardinals reduced their magic number to one for the Central title and eliminated the defending champion Reds. Todd Stottlemyre and Jordan got the Cardinals turned around. Jordan had three hits and Stottlemyre (14-11) shut the Reds out until Barry Larkin hit a two-run homer in the eighth.

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