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      The Magic number for St. Louis is four as the Cards Reds and Pirates all win

      Carlos Beltran homered, Adam Wainwright earned his 18th win and the St. Louis Cardinals beat Washington 4-3 on Monday night, eliminating the Nationals from playoff contention.

      Looking for their first NL Central title since 2009, the Cardinals maintained a two-game lead over Cincinnati and Pittsburgh and reduced their magic number to four.

      All three teams are headed to the postseason.

      The Reds and Pirates both won Monday night, clinching at least a wild-card berth when Washington lost.

      St. Louis secured no worse than a wild card on Sunday.

      The Pittsburgh Pirates are going to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years, clinching at least a National League wild card Monday night when they beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 and the Washington Nationals lost to St. Louis. It will be Pittsburgh's first trip to the postseason since Barry Bonds, Jim Leyland and Co. won three straight NL East titles from 1990-92.

      Bonds then left for San Francisco as a free agent, and the small-budget Pirates piled up 20 consecutive losing records - the longest streak in the four major professional sports.

      Shin-Soo Choo drove in the winning run with a single off the wall in the 10th inning, and the Cincinnati Reds secured a playoff spot Monday night moments after beating the New York Mets 3-2. Second-place Cincinnati clinched at least an NL wild card when Washington lost to first-place St. Louis 4-3 just a few minutes after the Reds' game ended. Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said there would be no celebration of a wild-card clinching, not with a second straight NL Central title still in play.