- Associated Press - Monday, September 24, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) - Werth wound up with a two-out, two-run double when Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez lost a ball in the sun to spark a six-run fourth inning Monday, and Washington beat Milwaukee 12-2 to cut its magic number for winning the NL East to five.

Jordan Zimmermann (12-8) allowed one run and four hits in 6 2-3 innings, while delivering two hits and driving in a run as a batter. Ryan Zimmerman produced three hits and four RBIs for the Nationals, who are a majors-best 93-60 and increased their division lead over the Atlanta Braves to five games with nine to play.

Marco Estrada (4-7) lasted only four innings for the Brewers, who entered the day 2 1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL’s second wild-card berth. He allowed seven runs _ six earned _ and eight hits.

METS 6, PIRATES 2

NEW YORK (AP) _ Ike Davis connected twice and reached a career-high 30 homers, Jenrry Mejia pitched five effective innings for his first major league win and New York won its fourth straight.

Davis had a career-best five RBIs and Mejia (1-1) allowed four singles and two walks Monday. The right-hander struck out four and only his last out was made by an outfielder.

The Pirates lost for the 31st time in 43 games since improving to a season-high 16 games above .500 (63-47) on Aug. 8. They started the day 6 1/2 games back in the wild-card race with several teams ahead of them, and now need to win six of their last nine just to finish at break even.

Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen went 1 for 3 with a triple to keep his batting average at .336 _ behind only Melky Cabrera, who is at .346 but has removed himself from consideration.

Davis‘ homer to left-center off Kyle McPherson (0-2) in the fourth came after David Wright walked. Davis hit a three-run shot off Jeff Karstens in the fifth to make it 6-0, a batter after Wright had an RBI single.

CARDINALS 6, ASTROS 1

HOUSTON (AP) _ Lance Lynn pitched seven innings to earn his 17th win, rookie Pete Kozma hit a two-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals strengthened their grip on a playoff spot.

Yadier Molina added a solo shot as the Cardinals moved 3 1/2 games in front of Milwaukee and Los Angeles for the second NL wild card. The Brewers lost 12-2 at Washington earlier in the day, and the Dodgers were off.

Lynn (17-7) struck out nine and yielded allowed one run and five hits. The right-hander is 4-0 with a sparkling 0.89 ERA in his last four outings, including a relief appearance against Milwaukee on Sept. 9.

Kozma extended St. Louis’ lead to 3-0 with his second major league homer in the second, a day after hitting his first one. Molina hit his 21st homer of the season to make it 4-1 in the fourth.

Houston starter Fernando Abad (0-6) pitched 1 2-3 innings before leaving with a strained right oblique. He walked one and allowed a run. He was replaced by Fernando Rodriguez, who was charged with three runs and seven hits in a career-long 4 1-3 innings.

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