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MLB standings 2014: Dodgers snap slide, inch closer to playoffs

Brian Kersey

A seventh-inning rally gave the Dodgers a much-needed win on Thursday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, and pushed the Dodgers closer to clinching a playoff berth, a reality that could happen as early as Friday.

Thursday results

Dodgers 8, Cubs 4: Chicago led 2-0 early and 4-1 entering the seventh inning, but a five-run rally turned the game around in L.A.'s favor. Dee Gordon, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig all continued their hot hitting, snapping a two-game losing streak for the Dodgers.

Nationals 6, Marlins 2: Wilson Ramos doubled home a run to star a five-run rally, one of five consecutive hits in the fourth inning to back Gio Gonzalez in a win in Miami.

Pirates 3, Red Sox 2: Pittsburgh completed the sweep to strengthen its hold on a playoff spot and pulled to within two games of the idle Giants for the top Wild Card spot.

Cardinals 3, Brewers 2 (13): Old friend Jonathan Broxton helped blow a 2-0 lead in the eighth inning, thanks in large part to first baseman Mark Reynolds forgetting how many outs there were during the frame. Five innings later Tony Cruz drove home Matt Holliday for the walk-off win for St. Louis, pushing Milwaukee 3½ games out of a playoff spot.

The Dodgers' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is just two, meaning they can clinch as early as Friday, with a win over the Cubs and a Brewers loss in Pittsburgh to the Pirates.

Friday's relevant action (all times PT)

11:20 a.m. - Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw) at Cubs (Edwin Jackson)

4:05 p.m. - Brewers (Yovani Gallardo) at Pirates (Jeff Locke)

4:10 p.m. - Nationals (Doug Fister) at Marlins (Tom Koehler)

5:15 p.m. - Reds (David Holmberg) at Cardinals (John Lackey)

7:10 p.m. - Giants (Tim Hudson) at Padres (Odrisamer Despaigne)