MILWAUKEE: Ryan Braun belted a three-run, go-ahead homer in the eighth inning to help the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Florida Marlins 4-1 to clinch their first division title in 29 years.
Slugger Prince Fielder also hit a homer for the Brewers, who came into Friday’s game needing a combination of a victory and a loss by the St Louis Cardinals to clinch the National League Central division.
“I knew right off the bat that I got it,” Braun said. “Players live for that moment.”
Braun’s homer helped break the game open in the eighth. In a strange twist of fate, the Cardinals gave up three runs in the eighth en route to a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
With the victory, the Brewers (53-23) have reached the postseason at the earliest date in franchise history.
Braun homered off Florida pitcher Clay Hensley to snap a one-for-16 batting slump. He paused briefly and pointed his bat in the air before trotting around the bases. Braun was serenaded with chants of M-V-P late in the game.