Braves sweep Nats, Cardinals move ahead of Dodgers

The Associated Press
September 17, 2012
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Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones, right, celebrates with teammate Freddie Freeman after the Braves defeated the Washington Nationals 5-1 in a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The AP's daily wrap on the playoff races and what's ahead in the final weeks:

— BRAVES & BROOMS: Chipper Jones & Co. kept things interesting in the NL East, sweeping first-place Washington out of Turner Field and denying Gio Gonzalez his 20th win. Atlanta trails the Nationals by 5½ games with 15 games left.

— TEMPER, TEMPER: Manager Joe Maddon and cleanup hitter Matt Joyce were ejected as Tampa Bay lost 6-4 at Yankee Stadium, leaving the Rays four games behind in the scramble for the last AL wild-card slot. Tigers manager Jim Leyland was tossed during a 7-6 defeat in Cleveland, dropping Detroit two games back in the AL Central.

— ARMED, NOT DANGEROUS: The Dodgers used a franchise-record 10 pitchers, but still lost to St. Louis 5-2 in 12 innings. The Cardinals lead Los Angeles by one game for the second NL wild-card spot.

— NEXT UP: Detroit gets one last look at the White Sox, visiting Chicago on Monday in a rainout makeup. Doug Fister tries to pull the Tigers within a game of the division leaders when he takes on rookie Jose Quintana.

— CHASE CHATTER: "I think the whole series, we never figured out what their plan was. It was kind of all over the place. That made it tough." — Ace Roy Halladay after the contending Phillies lost three of four at last-place Houston.