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Cardinals beat Brewers; both teams clinch playoff spots

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (C) hit .262 this season to help his squad make the 2020 postseason. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (C) hit .262 this season to help his squad make the 2020 postseason. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers in their final game of the regular season, but both National League Central teams emerged from the game with playoff berths.

Cardinals starter Austin Gomber allowed one hit and one run in four innings in the 5-2 win Sunday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Cardinals center fielder Harrison Bader went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, an RBI, a home run and a triple.

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Paul Goldschmidt also went 3 for 4 with an RBI in the win.

St. Louis managed to clinch a spot in the postseason despite a 17-day midseason hiatus from their schedule in August due to a team COVID-19 outbreak. The Cardinals had 18 people impacted by the coronavirus and had to play 53 games in 44 days.

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"When we didn't play for two weeks, you had no idea what to expect," Goldschmidt told reporters. "How were we going to play? What was going to happen? What was the schedule going to be like?

"It kind of felt like if we made the playoffs, it was going to be a huge accomplishment in itself, or to even be in the race. For us to do it, I think it's a great accomplishment."

The Cardinals (30-28) used three RBI singles to earn a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning on Sunday in St. Louis. Daniel Vogelbach then plated Christian Yelich on an RBI groundout in the top of the fourth frame for the Brewers.

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Bader hit a 425-foot solo homer to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jacob Nottingham then plated the game's final run with an RBI single in the top of the ninth inning for the Brewers.

Brewers starter Brett Anderson allowed two hits and two runs in two innings to finish the season at 4-4. Nottingham led the Brewers at the plate with a 2 for 4 night. Cardinals relief pitcher Alex Reyes allowed two hits and a run in 1 2/3 innings to earn his first save of the season.

The Cardinals clinched the No. 5 seed in the National League due to the victory. The Brewers snagged the No. 8 seed after losses by the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants.

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"There were so many challenges that we had to deal with on a daily basis, behind the scenes things that you don't deal with in a normal year," Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich said. "It wasn't pretty. We took a beating sometimes.

"We had our ups and downs, but we were able to find a way to sneak in."

The Cardinals face the San Diego Padres in Game 1 of a wild card series at 5 p.m. EDT Wednesday in San Diego. The Brewers (29-31) battle the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of another wild card series at 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday in Los Angeles.

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Miami Marlins players celebrate with a team photo on the mound after defeating the New York Yankees 4-3 and clinching a playoff birth in New York City on Friday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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