Milwaukee picked up the National League Central triumph on Monday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Brewers now lead St. Louis by three games and the Colorado Rockies by 3.5 games in the National League Wild Card standings.
But the Brewers had some help in Monday's victory.
The Brewers and Cardinals were tied at 4-4 after seven innings. Bud Norris began the eighth frame by striking out Brewers infielder Travis Shaw. He then allowed a triple to pinch hitter Eric Thames before issuing a free pass to Mike Moustakas. Norris attempted to pickoff Moustakas at first base but the throw resulted in an error, allowing Thames to score the go-ahead run.
National League MVP candidate Christian Yelich doubled in Lorenzo Cain in the top of the ninth inning to push the lead to two runs and help the Brewers earn the road victory.
"Wins are precious and you're doing everything you can to make sure you're in the playoffs, and we're inching closer to that," Brewers manager Craig Counsell told reporters. "We aren't quite there yet."
Ryan Braun gave the Brewers an early lead with a solo home run in the top of the second frame. Cardinals star Matt Carpenter plated Yairo Munoz with an RBI double to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning.
Braun walked with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, scoring Yelich, before Moustakas plated Jesus Aguilar in the same frame with an RBI sacrifice fly.
Yelich scored Keon Broxton by grounding into a force out in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at 4-4 for the Brewers, before the Cardinals offered some help to Milwaukee in the next inning.
Yelich went 1-for-4 with two RBIs, a run scored and a walk in the win and is hitting .321 with 32 home runs and 98 RBIs on the season. Cain had a 3-for-4 night for Milwaukee.
The Brewers and Cardinals play the bridge game of the three-game divisional series at 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday in St. Louis.