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Brewers clinch playoff berth with 9-2 win over the Reds

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Milwaukee just 1 1⁄2 games back of Cardinals

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

When the Milwaukee Brewers recorded the last out in their game with the Cincinnati Reds this evening, the New York Mets looked well on their way to a victory. The Chicago Cubs were in place to win their game against the Pirates. Yet whether those teams won or lost, it mattered not. The Milwaukee Brewers clinched at least a Wild Card berth by beating the Cincinnati Reds, 9-2.

In fact, the National League Central is still very much up for grabs. The St. Louis Cardinals lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and with the Brewers win, the two teams are separated by just 1.5 games.

This one was essentially over within the first 15 minutes of the game. Milwaukee put a six-spot on Reds’ starter Tyler Mahle in the top of the first inning. Mahle gave up back-to-back walks to Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas to open the door. Keaton Hiura followed by muscling an inside pitch into right field, and all of a sudden the bases were loaded for Ryan Braun.

Ryan Braun did what Ryan Braun does in Great American Ball Park and the Cincinnati Reds. He went deep over the centerfield wall, and this time it was a grand slam.

On Mahle’s very next pitch, Eric Thames went over the centerfield wall, and just like that, it was 5-0.

Lorenzo Cain, Corey Spangenberg, and Jordan Lyles all singled to load the bases once again. Trent Grisham drove in one more when he grounded out to a diving Joey Votto who was able to get the force at second. Cain scored, and the Brewers were feeling it.

Jordan Lyles took the hill for Milwaukee staked to that 6-0 lead. The Reds got one back, as Eugenio Suarez launched his 49th home run of the season. The Brewers got the run back in the top of the second. Mahle hung a breaking ball for Keaton Hiura to damage. Hiura did just that over the right centerfield wall, and it was 7-1.

Milwaukee scoring continued in the third. A throwing error by Jose Iglesias on a Jordan Lyles ground ball opened the door again for the Brewers. Trent Grisham followed with a walk. That ended the night for Mahle. Keury Mella replaced the Reds’ starter and immediately gave up an RBI double to Yasmani Grandal, increasing the lead, 8-1.

The Reds would continue to fight. In the bottom of the fourth, Eugenio Suarez walked to lead things off. Aristides Aquino followed with a ground ball to Mike Moustakas who was able to get the lead runner at second. Tucker Barnhart hit a shot into the left field gap that got past a diving Lorenzo Cain and to the wall. Aquino was able to score all the way from first to make it 8-2.

The Brewers tacked on in the top of the seventh. Sal Romano walked Braun to open the inning. Thames and Cain went back-to-back with singles, loading the bases with no one out. Romano looked as if he was going to get out of the inning as he struck out both Spangenberg and pinch hitter Travis Shaw. He would hit Trent Grisham in the upper arm, allowing Braun to score the ninth run of the evening.

In the bottom of the ninth, Christian Colon hit a ground ball to Corey Spangenberg. Spangenberg tossed the ball to Eric Thames, and the celebration was on in Great American Ball Park as the Brewers punched their playoff ticket for a second straight year for only the second time in franchise history.

The Brewers finish up with the Reds tomorrow. The game begins in the morning at 11:35 a.m. CT. Chase Anderson pitches for the Brewers against Luis Castillo. The game can be seen Fox Sports Wisconsin as well as MLB Network. If you would rather listen to the game, WTMJ will have the broadcast.