It's been 11 years since two clubs from the same division finished at least 30 games over .500, and even longer since it last happened in the NL.
The Pittsburgh Pirates might contribute to ending that streak, but no matter how well they play, they still can't reach the top of the Central.
Pittsburgh sends Charlie Morton to the mound looking to complete a three-game sweep of the visiting Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
The Pirates (79-49) are on the verge of moving 31 games over .500 for the first time since late in the 1992 season, but St. Louis possesses the majors' best record and sits atop the Central with a 3 1/2-game lead.
Not since Boston and the New York Yankees in 2004 have clubs in the same division finished 30 over .500, and it hasn't happened in the NL since Atlanta and the New York Mets in 1999.
Neither of those second-place teams, though, had to play a win-or-go-home wild-card game to qualify for the division series, which the Pirates could be facing for a third straight year under the modified postseason format. They're doing their best to avoid it, having won four straight and 14 of 17 after beating the Rockies 4-3 on Saturday.
"The goal is to win the division," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We're doing some things that have some significance I'll be mindful of later. We're in second place and we want to get to first place."
Aramis Ramirez hit a three-run homer and J.A. Happ continued his hot stretch with six solid innings Saturday. Andrew McCutchen had two hits and is batting .500 with two homers and three doubles during a seven-game hitting streak.
McCutchen is hitting .422 over his last 12 home games, raising his season average at PNC Park to .344. Morton (8-5, 4.20 ERA) also has been solid there, going 5-1 with a 2.82 ERA in eight starts.
Morton lost at Miami on Monday, though, for Pittsburgh's lone defeat over its last eight contests. The right-hander went 2-0 with a 2.93 ERA in his previous five starts - all Pirates victories.
Colorado (51-76) has lost seven straight in Pittsburgh and is 4-14 overall since Aug. 10. Nick Hundley hit a two-run homer with nobody out in the ninth Saturday, but the Rockies couldn't muster the tying run.
Hundley, Ben Paulsen and Brandon Barnes finished with two hits apiece for Colorado, which sends Jorge De La Rosa (7-6, 4.61) to the mound in this contest.
De La Rosa went 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA in his first four outings this month before giving up five runs and walking four in seven innings of Monday's 5-3 loss at Atlanta. He also allowed two homers, one more than he gave up in his previous five outings combined.
"Jorge gave us seven good innings but it wasn't his sharpest," said manager Walt Weiss. "But he pitched fine."
The left-hander entered that contest with a 3.17 ERA in 10 previous road starts. It marked the second time he'd given up more than three earned runs outside of Colorado.
De La Rosa is 3-2 with a 3.18 ERA in his last nine starts against the Pirates, a stretch that includes going 0-1 with a 3.29 ERA in his last five at PNC Park. Starling Marte has hit him well, going 4 for 6 with a homer and a triple in their matchups.