1 of 5 | The Milwaukee Brewers celebrate after winning the National League Central title Tuesday at American Family Field in Milwaukee. Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The Milwaukee Brewers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, but still managed to win the National League Central after a Chicago Cubs fielding error led to an Atlanta Braves victory, cementing their division title.
Second baseman Tommy Edman went 2 for 4 with a home run in the Cardinals' 4-1 triumph Tuesday at American Family Field in Milwaukee. Left fielder Richie Palacios also drove in two runs in the victory. Miles Mikolas allowed just one run over seven innings.
After that game, many Brewers fans remained in their seats to watch the conclusion of the Braves-Cubs matchup. The Cubs, who sit in second place in the National League Central, held a 6-0 lead entering the bottom of the sixth, but went on to lose 7-6. An eighth-inning error by Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki allowed the Braves to score the tying and go-ahead runs.
"It was a quick turn," Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich told reporters. "You go from being bummed that you couldn't do it on your own with a win, to a lot of excitement and champagne."
Left fielder Kevin Pillar sparked the Braves rally, leading off the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run. Second baseman Ozzie Albies doubled two at-bats later. Cubs starter Justin Steele walked third baseman Austin Riley in the next exchange. First baseman Matt Olson followed with an RBI single to left field.
Braves designated hitter Marcell Ozuna cut the deficit in half with an RBI double in the next exchange.
Cubs relief pitcher Javier Assad walked catcher Sean Murphy to start the bottom of the seventh. He then struck out pinch hitter Eddie Rosario, which brought star right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. to the plate. Acuna smashed the fourth offering of that exchange to right field for a two-run homer, cutting the Cubs lead to one.
Cubs reliever Drew Smyly struggled with control issues in the eighth. He walked Olson in his first exchange. Olson then advanced to second on a wild pitch, which was issued to Ozuna.
Ozuna went on to strike out in that exchange. Smyly walked shortstop Orlando Arcia in the next at-bat, while Olson advanced to third on another wild pitch. Smyly then struck out center fielder Michael Harris II, bringing Murphy to the plate.
Smyly missed the strike zone with his first two offerings to the Braves catcher, but went on to work the count full. Murphy then smacked a 3-2 knuckle curve to right field.
Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki reached up to glove the ball, but it flew past the webbing and hit the ground, allowing Olson and pinch runner Forrest Wall to score to give the Braves their final edge.
Braves closer Raisel Iglesias then kept the Cubs scoreless in the top of the ninth to secure the win and earn his 31st save of the season.
The loss clinched the division for the Brewers and dropped the Cubs to 82-75. The Cubs now lead the Miami Marlins (81-75) by just a half-game for the final wild card playoff slot in the National League.
Four of MLB's six division titles are now clinched. The Atlanta Braves (101-56) clinched the National League East. The Los Angeles Dodgers (97-60) won the National League West.
The Minnesota Twins (84-73) won the American League Central. The Baltimore Orioles (98-59) lead the American League East. The Texas Rangers (88-69) lead the American League West.
The Tampa Bay Rays (96-20) trail the Orioles for the division lead, but already clinched a playoff spot. The Toronto Blue Jays (87-70) and Houston Astros (86-72) currently hold the other American League wild card slots. The Seattle Mariners (85-72) are a half-game behind the Mariners for the final spot in the American League.
In the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies (88-69) clinched a wild card slot. The Arizona Diamondbacks (83-74) currently hold the second National League wild card spot.
The Braves will host the Cubs at 7:20 p.m. EDT Wednesday in Atlanta. The Marlins could potential take over the third wild card slot Wednesday, when they face the New York Mets in a doubleheader, trigged because of a field condition related postponement Tuesday night.
Game 1 will start at 4:10 p.m. in Queens. Game 2 is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. at Citi Field.
The MLB playoffs will start Tuesday with a wild card game. Game 1 of the World Series will be Oct. 27.