Pirates clinch 1st playoff berth in 21 years - NBC Sports

Pirates clinch 1st playoff berth in 21 years
APWF
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
September 23, 2013, 11:15 pm

CHICAGO (AP) 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.

Starling Marte hit a tiebreaking homer in the ninth inning at Wrigley Field, and the Pirates threw out a runner at the plate for the final out.

The Pirates doused each other in champagne in the visitors' clubhouse at Wrigley Field once St. Louis' 4-3 win over the Nationals became final.

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