CHICAGO – Make it a very sweet 16 for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Andrew Knizner scored the go-ahead run on Codi Heuer's wild pitch in the ninth inning, and the Cardinals beat the lowly Chicago Cubs 4-2 on Sunday for their 16th straight victory.
The Cardinals' franchise-record streak is the longest in the majors since Cleveland took 22 in a row in 2017, and the best in the National League since the New York Giants won 16 straight in 1951 on their way to an improbable pennant.
Paul Goldschmidt and Harrison Bader homered to extend a streak that has rocketed the Cardinals into position for the second NL wild card, leading Philadelphia and Cincinnati by six games with six to go.
Next up is a three-game series against NL Central champion Milwaukee beginning on Tuesday night in St. Louis.
Knizner walked to lead off the ninth. With one out and the bases loaded, Heuer (7-4) bounced a pitch to Tyler O'Neill that got past catcher Willson Contreras to bring Knizner home.
Heuer then mishandled O'Neill's comebacker and Lars Nootbaar scampered home to give the Cardinals a 4-2 lead.
REDS 9, NATIONALS 2: In Cincinnati, Tyler Stephenson and Nick Castellanos hit consecutive home runs, and Kyle Farmer broke open the game with a grand slam as Cincinnati kept alive its slim playoff hopes.
Cincinnati won its third straight and is 6 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card with six games left, tied with Philadelphia.
At 81-75, the Reds ensured consecutive non-losing seasons for the first time since 2012 and '13.
PIRATES 6, PHILLIES 0: In Philadelphia, Phillies starter Hans Crouse gave up a home run to Cole Tucker on his first major league pitch and Philadelphia's playoff hopes took a hit.
The Phillies, who had won five in a row, began the day trailing NL East-leading Atlanta by 11/2 games. Philadelphia visits the Braves for a three-game series starting Tuesday night.
Bryce Harper and Philadelphia finished the home portion of their schedule with a record of 47-34.
BRAVES 4, PADRES 3: In San Diego, pinch-hitter Orlando Arcia hit a go-ahead double in the sixth to lead Atlanta.
Will Smith struck out the side around three walks in the ninth inning to finish the Braves' victory that opened a 21/2-game lead over Philadelphia.
Joc Pederson homered and scored twice for Atlanta, which has led the division since Aug. 15.
WHITE SOX 5, INDIANS 2: In Cleveland, Lucas Giolito pitched six scoreless innings, and Eloy Jiménez had a two-run single to lead AL Central champion Chicago.
Giolito (11-9) gave up five hits, struck out six and threw 100 pitches. Cleveland advanced only two runners to third base off Giolito, who escaped his biggest threat by retiring Owen Miller with men on first and second to end the sixth.
BLUE JAYS 5, TWINS 2: In Minneapolis, Danny Jansen hit a go-ahead, three-run homer, and George Springer also went deep as Toronto maintained pressure in the AL wild-card race.
Toronto will enter the final week of the season two games back for the second AL wild card. The New York Yankees and Boston were tied for the wild-card lead heading into their game Sunday night.
Toronto won the final two games of the four-game series. The Blue Jays host three-game series against New York and Baltimore.
MARINERS 4, ANGELS 1: In Anaheim, California, Shohei Ohtani wasn't enough to keep Los Angeles from its sixth straight losing season.
Ohtani gave up Jarred Kelenic's tying home run in the seventh inning, and Mitch Haniger hit a go-ahead single in a four-run eighth against the bullpen that lifted Seattle.
Ohtani gave up one run and five hits in seven innings with 10 strikeouts and no walks.
ATHLETICS 4, ASTROS 2: In Oakland, California, Mark Canha hit an RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Oakland.
The A's swept the three-game series to move up in the playoff chase. They began the day four games behind AL wild card co-leaders Boston and New York by four games, with Toronto and Seattle also in the mix.
Alex Bregman homered for the Astros, whose magic number to clinch the division stayed at 2.