The tide continues to change in the NL Central.
Playing with heavy hearts in the aftermath of shortstop Jean Segura losing his nine-month-old son, the Brewers were blown out 10-2 by the visiting Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at Miller Park. Brewers rookie starter Jimmy Nelson was lit up for eight runs — six earned — over 4 1/3 innings and Adam Wainwright was his usual self on the other end, limiting Milwaukee to two runs on five hits in seven innings. Wainwright’s ERA is at 1.83.
St. Louis was six-and-half games back of the Brewers when July began. Now the two teams are tied with one game left before the All-Star break. The Reds and Pirates also continue to lurk.
Your box scores and recaps from Saturday …
White Sox 6, Indians 2
Yankees 3, Orioles 0
Braves 11, Cubs 6
Diamondbacks 2, Giants 0
Cardinals 10, Brewers 2
Red Sox 2, Astros 3
Marlins 4, Mets 5
Twins 9, Rockies 3
Blue Jays 3, Rays 10
Tigers 5, Royals 1
Angels 5, Rangers 2
Pirates 6, Reds 5 (11 innings)
Nationals 5, Phillies 3 (10 innings)
Padres 0, Dodgers 1
Athletics 2, Mariners 6
The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.
Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.
They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.
The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.