Pirates clinch 1st playoff spot in 21 years

The Associated Press
Pirates clinch 1st playoff berth in 21 years
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Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jason Grilli, left, picks up catcher Russell Martin after a baseball game and Pirates 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Pirates are going to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years.

After two consecutive decades of losing, the Pirates (90-67) clinched 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 4-3.

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 Monday night at Wrigley Field, and the Pirates threw out a runner at the plate for the final out.