Cubs loss leads to Brewers clinching their spot

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Milwaukee Brewers' Pablo Reyes scores safely past Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras during the eighth inning Saturday in Milwaukee. Reyes scored on a hit by Kolten Wong.

    Milwaukee Brewers' Pablo Reyes scores safely past Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras during the eighth inning Saturday in Milwaukee. Reyes scored on a hit by Kolten Wong. Associated Press

 
Associated Press
Updated 9/18/2021 10:18 PM

MILWAUKEE -- Manny Pina homered twice, Eduardo Escobar and Jace Peterson also connected, and the Milwaukee Brewers clinched their fourth straight postseason berth with a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night.

The Brewers won for the seventh time in nine games to ensure themselves at least a wild card after San Diego and Cincinnati lost earlier in the day. Milwaukee's magic number to lock up the NL Central title is three over St. Louis.

 

NL Cy Young Award contender Corbin Burnes was shaky by his standards in his first start since throwing eight innings in a combined no-hitter a week ago. He allowed 3 runs and 6 hits over 6 innings, striking out 11.

The right-hander gave up Ian Happ's 23rd homer with a man on in the fifth. It was the first homer allowed by Burnes since Aug. 6, when San Francisco's Brandon Belt took him deep.

Pina, Milwaukee's backup catcher, scored the first run of the night when he sent Justin Steele's first pitch of the second inning to center. Escobar followed with a solo shot to lead off the third, snapping a 1-1 tie.

Burnes left the game with a 3-2 lead thanks to a solo home run by Peterson to lead off the sixth, but the Cubs tied it an inning later when Willson Contreras, who was robbed of a home run by Lorenzo Cain in the second, tagged Brad Boxberger for a two-out solo shot that made it a 4-4 game.

Pina struck again from the leadoff spot in the eighth, sending an 0-2 slider from Scott Effross (2-1) down the left field line. Kolten Wong added an insurance run later in the inning, driving in Pablo Reyes on an infield single.

Devin Williams (8-2) pitched a scoreless eighth and Josh Hader stranded a pair of runners in the ninth for his 33rd save.

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