Nats secure Game 163; magic number still at 2

At worst, club would play in tiebreaker game, thanks to Cardinals' loss

Nats secure Game 163; magic number still at 2

The Nationals are one step closer to the postseason, having guaranteed at least a Game 163 as a result of the Cardinals' 5-0 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley on Friday afternoon. The Cards' loss allowed the Nats to clinch at least a tie for a National League Wild Card spot, and thus at least a tiebreaker game.

The Nationals could have clinched a postseason berth outright by defeating the Pirates on Friday night at PNC Park, but Washington couldn't hold a ninth-inning lead and fell, 6-5, in 11 innings.

"You still got to win the game," left-hander Gio Gonzalez said. "It's unfortunate the situation that happened tonight, but turn the page and get ready for tomorrow."

The Nats will have to wait until at least Saturday to clinch the NL East, as the Mets beat the Phillies on Friday night, keeping the magic number for the division title at two.

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.