6-0 win over St. Louis on Thursday afternoon drops Milwaukee Brewers’ magic number to clinch NL Central to 3

Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Sal Frelick, right, catches a fly ball hit by the St. Louis Cardinals’ Masyn Winn as Brewers second baseman Brice Turang avoids the play during the fifth inning on Thursday in St. Louis. (AP photo)

ST. LOUIS — Victor Caratini hit a three-run homer and Blake Perkins added a solo shot as the Milwaukee Brewers won 6-0 Thursday in the final game of a four-game series.

The Brewers’ magic number to clinch their second National League Central title in three years fell to three with nine games to play.

“We’re in a good spot right now,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re playing well. We’re not there yet. Let’s take care of business. Right now, it’s finish the job.”

Milwaukee (87-66) could wrap up the division title as soon as today in Miami with another victory along with two Chicago Cubs losses. The number to just clinch a postseason berth is two over the Marlins.

The Brewers have won eight of their last 11 and 22 of their last 31 games.

The Milwaukee Brewers' Blake Perkins, left, is congratulated by teammate Willy Adames after hitting a solo home run during the third inning against the Cardinals on Thursday in St. Louis. (AP photo)

“We’re playing solid, all-around baseball in all three areas,” Counsell said.

St. Louis (67-86) fell to 20 games behind first-place Milwaukee in enduring its first losing season since 2007.

Wade Miley (9-4) breezed through six scoreless innings, throwing 92 pitches. He gave up three hits and only one runner reached second base. He struck out seven and walked two while stranding five runners.

Miles Mikolas (7-13) pitched into the sixth inning, allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits and a walk. He had lost eight of his last nine decisions dating back to July 27.

Perkins led off the third inning with a home run to right field, giving the Brewers a 1-0 lead.

The Brewers extended their lead to 2-0 in the fifth inning. Right fielder Jordan Walker misjudged Brice Turang’s ball for a two-base error and followed it with a throwing error, allowing Turang to take third. One out later, Sal Frelick singled to left for the run.

Milwaukee chased Mikolas in the sixth. Willy Adames led off with a double followed by singles by Rowdy Tellez and Andruw Monasterio for a run. Caratini cleared the bases by drilling a 3-2 slider into the right field stands, making it 6-0. It was his first homer since Aug. 11.

“Three-run homers are game changers,” Counsell said. “We’ve gotten that hit more often.”



The Brewers’ three pitchers Thursday allowed six total hits. Milwaukee has not given up double-digit hit totals in 26 consecutive games, the longest active streak or otherwise in MLB this season. It’s the longest in MLB since the Washington Nationals did it in 2018. The 1968 Baltimore Orioles had a 30-game streak in 1968.



RHP Devin Williams celebrated his 29th birthday on Thursday. The St. Louis-native last pitched on Sunday against Washington and tossed a scoreless ninth inning. He has 35 saves this season.



Brewers: Christian Yelich (back) remains day-to-day. He has missed 11 of the last 12 games with his lone game played in that span being last Friday. “I think when he’s ready to play, he’ll play,” Counsell said. “We’ve exercised caution.”

Cardinals: C Willson Contreras (left wrist tendinitis) was placed on the 10-day IL after the game. He had an MRI taken before the game. He left Wednesday’s game in the sixth inning. … RHP Wilking Rodriguez (right shoulder) is scheduled to throw Saturday. He received an anti-inflammatory shot in his shoulder Wednesday to help with discomfort and swelling.



Brewers: RHP Corbin Burnes (9-8, 3.56) vs. Marlins’ TBA at Miami. Burnes will be making his 31st start of the season and first against the Marlins. Burns is looking for his first win since July 20 at Philadelphia, a span of 10 starts during which he is 0-3 with a 3.69 ERA.

Cardinals: RHP Dakota Hudson (6-2, 5.12) vs. San Diego’s RHP Matt Waldron (1-3, 5.16). Hudson’s last start at Petco Park imploded to a 12-2 loss fueled by a seven-run second inning as his own throwing error opened up a two-out rally culminated on back-to-back home runs by Manny Machado and Franmil Reyes.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb


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