Kyle Lohse and the short-handed St Louis Cardinals won for the sixth time in seven games with a 6-3 success over the Chicago Cubs which held their lead in the National League wild-card race.
Without All-Stars Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran from the starting line-up, the Cardinals stayed two games ahead of Milwaukee for the second wild-card spot.
Lohse gave up three runs and fives hits in six innings as he made his team-leading 32nd start.
The Brewers were 6-2 winners over the Washington Nationals as Jonathan Lucroy had a pair of RBI singles.
Rickie Weeks had three hits while Aramis Ramirez had two doubles for Milwaukee as the visitors twice benefited from Washington outfielders losing fly balls in the sun.
Washington lead the NL East by four games over Atlanta after the Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1.
The Braves moved to the brink of the play-offs as Tim Hudson tossed two-hit ball over seven and one third innings, striking out four and allowing one unearned run to send the Braves back home for a six-game run which can see them clinch a play-off spot.
The Pittsburgh Pirates ended a five-game losing streak with an 8-1 success against the Houston Astros with AJ Burnett allowing one run in eight innings for his 16th win and Josh Harrison tying a career high with four hits.
The New York Mets edged the Miami Marlins 3-2 as Ruben Tejada singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning.
The Colorado Rockies suffered a season-high ninth straight loss by a 10-7 score to the Arizona Diamondbacks who remain four games behind St Louis for the second NL wild-card spot.
Aaron Hill hit a tie-breaking three-run homer in the eighth inning, Will Nieves making four hits and Hill three as the Diamondbacks made it three straight wins and six out of seven.
A day after clinching the NL West title the San Francisco Giants rested several players and were beaten 6-4 by the San Diego Padres with Yonder Alonso's two-run single in the seventh inning snapping a tie.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a pair of solo homers off Homer Bailey as the Los Angeles Dodgers secured a 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds to remain three games behind St Louis and a half game behind Milwaukee in the battle for the final NL play-off spot.
Cliff Pennington hit a go-ahead single in the sixth inning after a key error by backup shortstop Eduardo Nunez as the Oakland Athletics bounced back to avoid a sweep with a 5-4 win over New York in the American League East, ending the Yankees' seven-game winning streak.
The Boston Red Sox won 2-1 over the Baltimore Orioles to end their opponents' six-game winning streak.
Cody Ross doubled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and Andrew Bailey escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to stop a four-game losing streak and deal a blow to Oakland's wild-card bid.
The Los Angeles Angels were 4-1 winners against the Chicago White Sox, Jered Weaver keeping the Angels within striking distance in the AL wild-card chase, posting his league-leading 19th victory.
The Minnesota Twins stopped the Detroit Tigers tying the White Sox on top of the AL Central with a double-header success.
The Twins were 10-4 and 2-1 winners, game two going to a 10th innings which saw Jamey Carroll hit an RBI single to clinch the victory.
The Kansas City Royals were eliminated from play-off contention as the Cleveland Indians romped to a 15-4 win with Carlos Santana hitting two homers and driving in five runs.
The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 and the Texas Rangers won 3-2 against the Seattle Mariners.