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Cubs clinch playoff spot, Pirates win on Stallings HR in 9th

The Cubs clinched a playoff spot despite losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 on a walk-off home run by Jacob Stallings.
Credit: AP
Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo, right, celebrates with Kyle Schwarber (12) as he returns to the dugout after hitting a two-run home run off Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Sam Howard during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH — The Chicago Cubs clinched a playoff spot under rookie manager David Ross, returning to the postseason after a one-year absence despite losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 on a walk-off home run by Jacob Stallings. 

The NL Central-leading Cubs were assured a spot in the expanded playoff field when Philadelphia was swept in a doubleheader at Washington. 

The Cubs began the day with a 4 ½-game lead over St. Louis and Cincinnati in the division standings and a magic number of four to clinch the title. Chicago missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2014. 

The Pirates will host the Cubs again tonight at 7:05 p.m. before ending the series at 1:35 p.m. tomorrow.

Pittsburgh will end the season with a series against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland.