Braves clinch NL East title with Nationals' loss

Braves clinch NL East title with Nationals' loss

September 22nd, 2013 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Atlanta Braves players and coaches celebrate after the Braves defeated the Chicago Cubs 5-2 in a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. The Braves clinch NL East as the Washington Nationals lose to the Florida Marlins.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

CHICAGO - The Atlanta Braves have clinched their first NL East title in eight years.

Atlanta was leading the Chicago Cubs 3-1 in the sixth inning at Wrigley Field when second-place Washington lost 4-2 to Miami, handing the Braves their second consecutive playoff appearance. Atlanta lost 6-3 to St. Louis in the wild-card game last season.

It's the first division title for manager Fredi Gonzalez since he took over in Atlanta before the 2011 season. He has led the Braves to at least 89 wins in each of his three years at the helm.

Atlanta had a chance to secure the title on Saturday, but Chicago rallied for a 3-1 victory. Then Washington's game against Miami was postponed by rain, pushing any chance for a celebration to Sunday afternoon.