It's sure looking like the Cubs and Mets will need an extra day to settle this wild-card thing, isn't it?

The race for the NL's final playoff spot became tied Tuesday night when Chicago won 5-2 at Milwaukee while New York lost 5-3 at home to Montreal."It's down to a four-game season," Mets closer John Franco said.

And that may not be enough to decide it. If the teams are still even when the regular season ends Sunday, they will meet in a one-game playoff Monday at Shea Stadium.

"The more we play, the more it looks like Monday might be a reality for playing a playoff game," Franco said.

The Cubs won despite Sammy Sosa staying stuck in his worst slump of the year. Sosa switched bats three times but went hitless in four at-bats and dropped to 0-for-21 since hitting his 63rd home run.

"I'm trying to change my luck," Sosa said. "But I can't find it right now."

San Francisco still had an outside chance in the wild card race following a 14-2 victory over Pittsburgh that put the Giants 21/2 games behind with five games left.

Terry Mulholland (6-5) pitched eight effective innings, giving up one run and six hits. Rod Beck worked the ninth and allowed Jeromy Burnitz's 38th home run.

EXPOS 5, METS 3: New York took an early 3-0 lead, but Montreal managed to rally on the road.

John Olerud of the Mets walked in the first inning, tying Barry Bonds' NL record of reaching base 15 consecutive times, then grounded out in the third and fell one short of the major league mark Ted Williams set in 1957.

GIANTS 14, PIRATES 2: At San Francisco, Barry Bonds homered, tripled and singled before leaving due to back spasms, and Kirk Rueter pitched six strong innings as the Giants kept their wild card hopes alive.

Bonds, who drove in three runs, walked in the fifth but appeared to strain his back when he checked his swing on the last pitch. He was lifted for a pinch runner and walked with a slight limp to the Giants dugout.

CARDINALS 4, ASTROS 0: Mark McGwire hit two fly balls that were caught on the warning track at Busch Stadium as St. Louis won its sixth in a row.

Matt Morris (7-5) struck out 10 and pitched a five-hitter for his first major league shutout.

BRAVES 4, MARLINS 1: Atlanta set a team record with 208 home runs when Eddie Perez hit a solo shot at Florida.

Kevin Millwood (17-8), who will work out of the bullpen in the playoffs, pitched the first five innings. Kerry Ligtenberg became the first NL rookie to record 30 saves since St. Louis' Todd Worrell in 1986.

DIAMONDBACKS 8, ROCKIES 6: Mike Lansing hit three home runs for Colorado, but Karim Garcia hit two of Arizona's team record-tying five homers.

Lansing had just nine homers this season before connecting three times at Coors Field. Dante Bichette also homered for the Rockies.

DODGERS 3, PADRES 2: Chan Ho Park pitched eight strong innings and rookie Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer as Los Angeles won at home. NL West champion San Diego fell to 7-13 in September.

Joey Hamilton (13-13), who had been 8-1 lifetime against the Dodgers, took the loss. Jeff Shaw got his 45th save.

PHILLIES 10, REDS 8 : Desi Relaford drew a bases-loaded walk from Todd Williams in the 11th and Cincinnati fell to 0-5 in extra innings at home.

Scott Rolen hit his 31st home run and doubled for Philadelphia. Aaron Boone had three hits and drove in three runs for the Reds.