ST. LOUIS, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Yadier Molina drove in three runs Friday, Lance Lynn struck out nine and St. Louis clinched the division title with a 7-0 win over the Chicago Cubs.
St. Louis won the National League Central crown for the first time in four years. The Cardinals finished second in the division each of the last three seasons and in one of those wound up winning the World Series.
St. Louis joined Atlanta, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston, Detroit and Oakland as division winners this season. They all will begin their playoff runs next week after the wild card participants are determined in both leagues.
Molina got St. Louis started with a two-run double during a three-run first inning and he added an RBI on a fielder's choice grounder in the fourth.
Lynn (15-11) went six innings for the victory, giving up four hits without a walk. Four relievers combined to complete the shutout.
The loss went to Travis Wood (9-12), who was removed after one inning having allowed three runs on four hits.