Cardinals clinch division for the third straight year
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The St. Louis Cardinals are National League Central Division Champions for the third consecutive year after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second game of a doubleheader Wednesday.
Lefthander Tyler Lyons, the replacement for an injured Carlos Martinez, gave the Cardinals seven shutout innings during their 11-1 rout of the Pirates. Lyons held the Pirates to two hits through seven innings and received some serious run support from Jason Heyward. The outfielder's third-inning grand slam off of Pittsburgh's Bobby LaFromboise powered the Cardinals to an early six-run lead. Later in the fifth inning, Heyward made a leaping catch to rob Michael Morse of extra bases.
After a two-run homer by Tony Cruz in the top of the ninth inning, the Cardinals sealed the deal on their third straight division championship and 100th win of the season. It is the ninth time in team history that the Cardinals have won 100 games in a season.
The Cardinals will face the winner of the Pirates-Cubs wild card in the National League Division Series on October 9. If the Cardinals advance to a fifth consecutive National League championship series, the team will have home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs.