MILWAUKEE - Manny Piña 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, Sept. 18.
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 three runs and six hits over six 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.
Piña, 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.
Piña 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.
Fans can visit the Brewers Team Store at American Family Field, which remains open until midnight Saturday and reopens Sunday, Sept. 19 at 11:40 a.m. The Brewers Team Store will then remain open daily from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Clinch postseason t-shirts are currently available in the Brewers Team Store.
The Brewers Team Store is located at the Hot Corner entrance at American Family Field. To contact the Brewers Team Store, call 414-902-4750.
The Brewers Team Store will take phone orders, ship to house and accommodate in-store pickup. Follow @BrewersTeamStore on Instagram. Orders can be placed by calling 414-902-4750 or emailing TeamStore@Brewers.com.
Cubs: INF Nico Horner arrived in Milwaukee on Saturday and took part in batting practice but won’t be activated until Sunday, ahead of Chicago’s series finale against the Brewers. Horner has been out since late July with an oblique strain. Manager David Ross plans to make Hoerner the everyday starter at shortstop in an effort to evaluate the progress of the 2018 first-round pick who was limited to just 39 games due to injuries this season.
Brewers: OF Avisail Garcia (back spasms) was held out of the lineup for a third straight game. Manager Craig Counsell had hoped to have Garcia back Saturday, but after an evaluation, the medical staff decided Garcia wasn’t at the point they’d hoped.
The rivals wrap up their 2021 season series Sunday when Cubs RHP Adrian Sampson (1-2, 2.53 ERA) faces off against Milwaukee left-hander Eric Lauer (6-5, 3.10).