Baseball / MLB

Cardinals get past Yu Darvish, Cubs to clinch playoff berth


Paul Goldschmidt and the St. Louis Cardinals celebrated the franchise’s first postseason berth in four years with a champagne toast in the visitor’s clubhouse.

It was another sweet finish.

Goldschmidt hit a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning and the Cardinals clinched a playoff spot by rallying past the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Sunday for their first four-game sweep at Wrigley Field in almost a century.

“Just relentless on our guys’ part,” manager Mike Shildt said. “That’s the way we play baseball. That’s the way we compete.”

NL Central-leading St. Louis qualified for October for the first time since it won the division in 2015. It also stayed three games ahead of Milwaukee.

It was the fifth consecutive win for the Cardinals, who came back for a 9-8 victory Saturday on consecutive homers by Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong against Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.

This time, Chicago manager Joe Maddon sent a dominant Yu Darvish (6-8) back to the mound to go for his first complete game since 2014. But the result was the same in the Cubs’ fifth consecutive one-run loss.

“If you just play back the tape it’s almost unbelievable that it turned out this way,” Maddon said.

Darvish struck out 12 over 8 ⅓ innings. He had only given up one run before being charged with two in the ninth. He allowed seven hit and didn’t walk any batters.

Miles Mikolas pitched 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball and Tyler Webb (2-1) got the last out of the eighth for the win. Andrew Miller worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Nicholas Castellanos hit his career-high 27th homer for Chicago (82-74), which dropped four games back of the Brewers for the second NL wild card.

It was the first four-game series sweep for St. Louis (89-67) at Wrigley since May 1921.

In Other Games

Astros 13, Angels 5

Red Sox 7, Rays 4

Yankees 8, Blue Jays 3

Twins 12, Royals 8

Rangers 8, Athletics 3

Tigers 6, White Sox 3

Orioles 2, Mariners 1

Indians 10, Phillies 1

Brewers 4, Pirates 3

Marlins 5, Nationals 3

Dodgers 7, Rockies 4

Diamondbacks 6, Padres 4 (10)

Mets 6, Reds 3

Giants 4, Braves 1