Brewers’ playoff hopes dashed after Cards rally for 7-6 win
ST. LOUIS (AP) The Milwaukee Brewers were eliminated from playoff contention Saturday when they squandered a six-run lead in a 7-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, handing baseball’s final postseason spot to the Colorado Rockies.
Brewers reliever Anthony Swarzak gave up a tying, two-run single to Stephen Piscotty in the eighth inning and a go-ahead single to Harrison Bader. Milwaukee tried to rally in the ninth, but Brett Phillips struck out with a runner on second to end it.
Milwaukee’s loss clinched the second NL wild card for Colorado, which plays at division rival Arizona in the wild-card game Wednesday.
The young Brewers began the day two games behind Colorado and had hoped to force a tiebreaker Monday by winning their last two regular-season games in St. Louis while the Rockies dropped their final two at home to the Dodgers.
Instead, the Brewers (85-76) blew an early 6-0 lead and their surprising season came to an abrupt end.
Milwaukee hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2011.
Piscotty’s single tied it 6-all, capping a Cardinals comeback after they trailed 6-0 in the third. Piscotty was initially called out trying to reach second on the throw home, but then was ruled safe following a replay review. That set up Bader’s decisive hit off Swarzak (2-1) with two outs.
Juan Nicasio earned his sixth save and Ryan Sherriff (2-1) got the win as four Cardinals relievers combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings.
The loss snapped a three-game losing streak for St. Louis and a four-game winning streak for the Brewers at Busch Stadium.
Domingo Santana hit a two-run homer and Travis Shaw drove in two runs and scored twice as Milwaukee jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
Santana’s 30th home run, a 428-foot shot to right-center field, and Shaw’s two-run single highlighted a five-run third for the Brewers. Shaw’s single gave him 100 RBIs in a season for the first time.
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell showed a sense of urgency by pulling starter Junior Guerra with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the third. But Jeremy Jeffress came in and allowed back-to-back, two-run doubles to Paul DeJong and Jose Martinez that cut the Brewers’ lead to 6-4.
Orlando Arcia’s sacrifice fly scored Shaw to make it 1-0 in the second.
Cardinals starter Luke Weaver was pulled after a two-out walk in the fifth.
All six runs Weaver allowed were earned. After going 7-1 with a 2.05 ERA in his first 11 appearances, Weaver finished the season losing his last two with a 16.40 ERA (14 runs in 7 2/3 innings) during that span.
Brewers: C Manny Pina (strained left thumb) missed his seventh consecutive game.
Cardinals: 2B Kolten Wong (lower back tightness) was not in the lineup for the fifth straight game.
Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (17-9, 3.90 ERA) is coming off a no-decision in his last outing at Cincinnati. He is 2-0 with a 3.41 ERA in six career starts against St. Louis.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (12-11, 3.64) will make his career-high 33rd start in the season finale. He is 5-4 with 2.18 ERA in 23 career appearances against Milwaukee.
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