Brewers finish sweep of Cardinals to move into first place

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Prince Fielder homered in the bottom of the sixth to give the Brewers their first lead of the day, and Milwaukee held on from there, winning 4-3 to complete a three-game sweep of the Cardinals.

With the victory, the Brewers moved a half-game up on St. Louis for first place in the NL Central.

Shaun Marcum was the winner in this one, staying in to pitch seven innings after originally giving the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.  The Brewers couldn’t touch Jake Westbrook until the bottom of the sixth, when they scored all four of their runs.

Kameron Loe and John Axford pitched scoreless innings after Marcum came out.

The Brewers moved into sole possession of first place in the NL Central for the first time since July 9, 2009.

Fielder’s homer was his eighth in 10 games and 19th overall.  He’s one behind Matt Kemp for the NL lead in homers.  He is tops with 58 RBI, with Kemp two back in second place.

The slumping Cardinals fell out of first place for the first time since May 19.  They were swept in Milwaukee for the first time since April 30-May 2, 2007.

The good news for them is that they’re about to get a couple of key players back.  Kyle McClellan (hip) will return from the disabled list to start Wednesday’s game against the Nationals, and Matt Holliday is expected to be activated on Thursday.

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

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ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.