EditorsNote: Update 3: adds new fifth graf, reorders other grafs
Milwaukee MVP candidate Christian Yelich walked five times and scored twice, and right-hander Jhoulys Chacin allowed one run in five innings as the Brewers clinched a postseason berth with a 2-1 win over the host St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
The Brewers (92-67) swept the three-game series. They remain a half-game behind the first-place Chicago Cubs (92-66) in the National League Central, and they hold a four-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers (88-71) in the race for the first NL wild card.
The Cardinals (87-72) sit one game back of the Dodgers in the wild-card hunt. Los Angeles lost its grip in the NL West to Colorado (88-70) following a 7-2 loss to Arizona later Wednesday.
Wednesday’s win assured the Brewers of at least a spot in the wild-card game.
Milwaukee opened the scoring in the third inning. Yelich drew a one-out walk, took second on a Jesus Aguilar single and scored on a Travis Shaw single.
Chacin (15-8) survived a shaky fourth inning, when St. Louis loaded the bases with one out but scored only once, on Jedd Gyorko’s sacrifice fly, to tie the game at 1-1. Chacin allowed one hit and two walks while striking out three.
The Cardinals’ starter, right-hander John Gant, allowed four hits and three walks before he was pulled after 4 1/3 innings. He gave up the Brewers’ first run and struck out two.
Gant got the first batter in the fifth and then gave way to left-hander Chasen Shreve (3-4), who walked Yelich, the only batter he faced, before he was replaced by right-hander Dakota Hudson.
Hudson got the second out on a tapper out in front of the plate, but then allowed Shaw’s second RBI hit of the night, a bloop single to left.
The Cardinals looked to get even in the sixth when left fielder Ryan Braun dropped a fly ball hit by Martinez, but Martinez was doubled off second on a line drive to end the inning.
Using a familiar pattern, the Brewers turned the lead over to their bullpen. Xavier Cedeno, Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress worked four shutout innings, with Jeffress getting his 13th save. They gave up one hit and struck out six.
The Cardinals, who had only two hits in the game, appeared set to tie it in the eighth.
Fleet-footed pinch runner Adolis Garcia was on first when Jose Martinez hit an infield single on which Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas made a wild throw to first base. Garcia was about to score when he fell down between third and home, and the Brewers threw him out at the plate.
—Field Level Media