Cardinals win NL Central for 5th time in 10 years

Stacy Revere / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The birds are back on top of the NL Central.

The St. Louis Cardinals secured a postseason berth for the fourth consecutive year after clinching their fifth NL Central title in the last 10 years with a 6-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night at American Family Field.

Catcher Andrew Knizner landed the big blow Tuesday with a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt also had a pair of RBIs in St. Louis' victory.

The Cardinals now hold an insurmountable 7 1/2-game lead over the second-place Brewers and are also locked into the National League's No. 3 seed, meaning they'll host the sixth-seeded team at Busch Stadium in a best-of-three wild-card series.

It's the Cardinals' 15th division title, the fifth-most since the divisional era began in 1969.

St. Louis flip-flopped with Milwaukee atop the Central for much of July before finally pulling away after the trade deadline. MVP candidates Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado propelled the team's fantastic second half, along with the resurgence of Albert Pujols, who's turned back the clock with a remarkable performance in his final season.

Rookie manager Oliver Marmol, who took over from Mike Shildt after the club fired the latter over "philosophical differences," proved a steady hand while guiding his side to 90 wins for the third time in four years. The 35-year-old follows each of his three predecessors - Shildt, Mike Matheny, and Tony La Russa - by reaching the playoffs in his first season managing the Cardinals.

Cardinals win NL Central for 5th time in 10 years
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