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Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker

Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen, left, and second baseman Neil Walker, cener, celebrate after defeating the Atlanta Braves in a baseball game Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Atlanta. Pittsburgh won 10-1. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) – Edinson Volquez threw seven scoreless innings, Travis Snider and Neil Walker hit homers and the Pittsburgh Pirates moved within one game of the NL Central lead with a 10-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.

Pittsburgh, only one game behind first-place St. Louis in the division, will close its regular season with a three-game series at Cincinnati. The Pirates clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday night.

The Pirates won three of four from the reeling Braves. St. Louis, which did not play Thursday night, closes its regular season with a weekend series at Arizona.

Volquez (13-7) set a season high with 10 strikeouts and gave up only four hits. He closed his regular season with 18 consecutive scoreless innings.

Josh Harrison moved past Colorado’s Justin Morneau (.317) for the lead in the NL batting race. Harrison had three hits, pushing his average to .319, and scored two runs.

 

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