Braun, Yelich blast Brewers to key win over Tigers

National League playoff picture needs two tiebreaker games

Lorenzo Cain delivers the big hit as Brewers beat Cubs, win NL Central | The Kansas City Star

"We've played each other really tough all year", Yelich said.

It's Milwaukee's second NL Central crown, but first since 2011.

With the win, Milwaukee gets a few days off before they play Thursday at home against the victor of the NL Wild Card Game. Yelich hit.352 over 26 games in the month of September, clubbing 10 home runs - which helped him earn that Player of the Month honor. Nobody in the National League wants to face them, especially the Cubs. He has 109 RBIs, two behind leader Javier Baez of the Cubs, and Yelich's 36 home runs are one behind Nolan Arenado of the Rockies.

"Excited about it", manager Bud Black said. "Any time we play the Cubs, it's a hostile environment, especially in Wrigley Field". That could be this Cubs team, a group that has to turn around tomorrow and play the victor of Rockies-Dodgers.

Charlie Blackmon, who had two of Colorado's four hits Monday, called it "an fantastic opportunity".

The Dodgers and Rockies were both at 90-71 entering Sunday, while the Cubs and Brewers were deadlocked at 94-67.

It's a quick turnaround after falling short in their bid for a third straight division title, but the Cubs will have ace left-hander Jon Lester on the mound for the elimination game.

If you're looking past the NLDS already, now is the time to register for NL Championship Series tickets. They're no strangers to tight spots and they find themselves in another one, after Milwaukee caught them down the regular-season stretch. Milwaukee pulled even on the final weekend. The silky-smooth slugger stalled in his bid for the league's first Triple Crown in decades, but he starred once again as the Brew Crew captured the biggest prize of the day.

Will the Dodgers head to the playoffs as a Wild Card team or as NL West champs? The best-of-seven National League Division Series will open on Thursday with the pairings to be determined. And the Cubs have certainly won their share of elimination games the past four seasons.

Corey Knebel (4-3), who pitched a scoreless seventh inning, was credited with the win.

The first two games will be televised on FS1 and the third game on MLB Network. Reliever Alec Mills, who was up and down with the Cubs this year, held the fort for the most part over two-plus innings. He's 0-1 with a 2.61 ERA in those starts.

Freeland (17-7) finished with a 2.85 ERA overall this season.

"It's been incredible. Getting traded to a new organization, contending for the first time and what he's done has just been - it's been fun to watch", Anthony Rizzo said. There were difficulties along the way. "If we win it, we'll be ecstatic".

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