MILWAUKEE The trade for CC Sabathia keeps looking better and better.
Sabathia sizzled on short rest, giving up four hits over seven innings while striking out a season-high 11 and the Brewers rallied past the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on Wednesday night to tie the New York Mets in the NL wild-card race.
New York lost 9-6 in 10 innings to Chicago.
"Every game we know is big, no matter who we're playing, so pretty much right now every game's a playoff game so you've got to go out and try to win any way you can," Sabathia said. "Every game's a playoff game, and we're still breathing."
Milwaukee won its 11th straight over Pittsburgh in its desperate quest to make the postseason for the first time since 1982, and Sabathia is the major reason why the Brewers are where they are with four games to play.
"Pitching on this short of rest and throwing 100 pitches every time and dominating like that is unbelievable," said Prince Fielder, who hit a two-out homer in the bottom of the ninth to win Tuesday's game. "For a guy to come in and not be with the team all year and for him to feel like that and for us to believe in him like that is a credit to him."
Sabathia, who came to Milwaukee on July 7 from Cleveland for four prospects, had his eighth game this season with at least 10 strikeouts and the Brewers are 13-3 when he starts.
"You hope to God you get to the playoffs and make that thing really, really look like the best trade of all time because obviously it's catapulted us to this position and there's a chance it comes down to Sunday," interim manager Dale Sveum said. "If it's tied or whatever, you'll probably see the best pitcher in baseball go out there."
DODGERS 12, PADRES 4: At Los Angeles, Manny Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra homered, and the surging Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 12-4 Wednesday night to clinch a tie for their first NL West championship in four years. The Dodgers' victory combined with Arizona's 4-2 loss at St. Louis gave Los Angeles a four-game lead over the Diamondbacks with four games remaining.
BRAVES 10, PHILLIES 4: At Philadelphia, Chipper Jones hit his second career pinch-homer and Atlanta beat NL East-leading Philadelphia. The Phillies remained 1 1/2 games ahead of New York in the division, and despite the loss their magic number for winning the East dropped to three with the Mets' loss to Chicago. Philadelphia will finish the regular season with a three-game series against the last-place Washington Nationals, starting Friday.
CUBS 9, METS 6 (10): At New York, Derrek Lee blooped a go-ahead double in the 10th off Luis Ayala (2-10) and Aramis Ramirez followed with a two-run homer for Chicago, which rallied from a four-run deficit. New York wasted Carlos Delgado's third-inning grand slam off Carlos Zambrano and a 5-1 lead.
CARDINALS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 2: At St. Louis, Adam Wainwright pitched out of two bases-loaded jams and St. Louis dampened Arizona's playoff hopes. Arizona's Mark Reynolds struck out once to tie the major league record for strikeouts in a season with 199. Philadelphia's Ryan Howard set the mark last season.
ASTROS 5, REDS 0: At Houston, Randy Wolf pitched 6 2-3 strong innings and Lance Berkman hit a two-run homer to keep Houston's slim playoff hopes alive.
MARLINS 9, NATIONALS 4: At Washington, Hanley Ramirez homered on the game's first pitch and prospects Cameron Maybin and Gaby Sanchez combined for six hits for Florida.
ROCKIES 15, GIANTS 6: At San Francisco, Clint Barmes homered, doubled in two runs and singled twice, Garrett Atkins hit a three-run homer
RAYS 11, ORIOLES 6: At Baltimore, Tampa Bay rallied from a six-run deficit to beat Baltimore and reduce its magic number to clinch their first division title to one. The Rays, who trailed 5-0 in the first inning, didn't clinch the AL East because Boston won to remain three games behind.
RED SOX 5, INDIANS 4: At Boston, pinch-hitter Jeff Bailey tripled and scored on Mark Kotsay's double to break an eighth-inning tie for Boston. One game after the Red Sox clinched a playoff berth and celebrated into the night, they jumped on Fausto Carmona for four runs in the first, chasing him from the game in his shortest outing in more than a year.
TWINS 3, WHITE SOX 2: At Minneapolis, Nick Blackburn fought through five innings and the maligned Minnesota bullpen didn't flinch as the Twins pulled within a half-game of Chicago in the AL Central. Blackburn (11-10) gave up eight hits and two walks. Craig Breslow, Boof Bonser and Jose Mijares followed with three scoreless innings, and Joe Nathan handled the ninth for his 39th save.
ANGELS 6, MARINERS 5: At Seattle, Mark Teixeira's home run with two outs in the eighth inning helped the Angels moved closer to securing home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
YANKEES 6, BLUE JAYS 2 (10): At Toronto, Bobby Abreu hit a grand slam in the 10th inning and New York won its seventh straight game.
ROYALS 10, TIGERS 4: At Detroit, Mitch Maier hit a bases-loaded triple in Kansas City's seven-run fifth inning and the Royals swept the three-game series. Brian Bannister (9-16) pitched six shutout innings for the fourth-place Royals, bidding to avoid the AL Central basement for the first time in five seasons. Kansas City has won 11 of 13.
RANGERS 14, ATHLETICS 4: At Arlington, Texas, Hank Blalock homered in his fourth straight game and Matt Harrison became the first Texas rookie left-hander to win nine games.