CHICAGO (AP) — Miguel Montero homered in the 10th inning, and the Chicago Cubs celebrated the NL Central title with a dramatic 5-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.
The Cubs became the first major league team to clinch their division when St. Louis lost at San Francisco late Thursday night. They had a chance to wrap it up in front of their delirious fans at Wrigley Field, but Scooter Gennett’s tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh lifted Milwaukee to a 5-4 win.
A day later, they put together quite a party.
Chicago (94-53) pushed across two runs in the ninth and Montero connected for a leadoff drive in the 10th against Blaine Boyer (2-4). The Cubs poured out of the dugout to mob Montero at home plate, and then pulled on postseason hats and shirts as the crowd of 40,823 cheered wildly.
There were hugs all around before the team gathered for a photo in front of the pitcher’s mound with one of the ‘W’ flags that fly all over the Chicago area after Cubs victories.
Chris Coghlan had three hits for the Cubs, including an RBI single that kicked off the ninth-inning rally. Albert Almora Jr. hit a two-run homer, and Aroldis Chapman (4-1) struck out the side in the 10th for his first win with the Cubs.
Ryan Braun, Orlando Arcia and Scooter Gennett homered for Milwaukee (66-82), which wasted another solid start by Chase Anderson. Andrew Susac added two hits.
Gennett’s tiebreaking two-run drive made it 4-2 in the seventh, but the Cubs responded in the ninth.
Coghlan singled in Willson Contreras and pinch-hitter Addison Russell drove in the tying run with an infield hit, sliding headfirst into the bag to beat the throw from second baseman Gennett. The Cubs had the bases loaded with one out, but Matt Szczur lined to center and Baez tapped back to reliever Carlos Torres, ending the inning.
Brewers infielder Jonathan Villar got the day off. Villar is batting .133 (4 for 30) with 10 strikeouts in his last eight games.
Brewers: CF Keon Broxton slammed into the wall in left center while tracking down Tommy La Stella’s drive in the third inning, breaking his right wrist. He went down immediately after the play and was helped off the field by a trainer who held Broxton’s arm against his body as he walked off. Broxton was replaced by Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who left in the seventh inning with an abdominal strain.
Cubs: LF Jorge Soler departed after three innings due to tightness on his right side. Soler grounded into a double play in the first in his only at-bat. It was unclear when the injury occurred. … C Willson Contreras was shaken up after he was hit in the groin by a Ryan Braun foul ball in the first inning. Manager Joe Maddon and a trainer came out to check on him, but he stayed in the game.
RHPs Jake Arrieta of the Cubs and Zach Davies of the Brewers face off on Saturday. Arrieta (17-6, 2.91 ERA) is 5-1 with a 3.40 ERA in his last seven starts. Davies (10-7, 3.87 ERA) pitched 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a no-decision at St. Louis on Sunday in his last outing.