Sep. 17—The Cincinnati Reds gained ground on two idle competitors in the wild-card race Thursday.
The Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 to end a four-game losing streak, though they suffered their seventh straight series loss.
With 15 games to play, the Reds (76-71) trail the St. Louis Cardinals (76-69) by one game and the San Diego Padres (76-70) by a half game in the race for the second wild card.
The Cardinals and Padres were off Thursday and play each other in a three-game series in St. Louis this weekend.
The Cardinals have the best odds (36.3) of winning the wild card, according to FanGraphs.com, with the Padres (32.1 percent) and Reds (23.9 percent) trailing them.
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The Reds have 15 games remaining and start a 10-game homestand Friday with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cardinals and Padres have 17 games to play.
Here's how their schedules compare:
—Reds: Sept. 17-19, vs. Dodgers (94-53); Sept. 20-22, vs. Pirates; Sept. 23-26, vs. Washington Nationals (60-86); Sept. 28-29, at Chicago White Sox (83-63); Oct. 1-3, at Pirates (54-92).
—Padres: Sept. 17-19, at Cardinals; Sept. 21-23, vs. Giants; Sept. 24-26, vs. Atlanta Braves (76-68); Sept. 28-30, at Dodgers; Oct. 1-3, at Giants.
—Cardinals: Sept. 17-19, vs. Padres; Sept. 20-23, at Milwaukee Brewers (89-57); Sept. 24-26, at Chicago Cubs (66-81); Sept. 28-30, vs. Milwaukee; Oct. 1-3, vs. Cubs.
The winner of the second wild-card will play on the road against the Giants or Dodgers, whoever doesn't win the West Division, on Oct. 6. That game will air on TBS.