>>> CUBS CLINCH
Cubs clinch NL Central title with Cardinals loss
CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs have won the NL Central, becoming the first major league team this season to clinch a division title when St. Louis lost 6-2 at San Francisco.
The Cubs lost 5-4 to the Milwaukee Brewers earlier Thursday night, but captured their first NL Central crown since 2008 when the Giants finished off their victory over the Cardinals.
Wrigley Field was empty when Matt Adams made the final out on the West Coast, but a loud cheer went up in the neighborhood around the iconic ballpark and several people honked their car horns.
Brewers crash Cubs party with 5-4 win at Wrigley Field
CHICAGO - Scooter Gennett hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the seventh inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers spoiled the Chicago Cubs' first opportunity to clinch the NL Central title with a 5-4 victory Thursday night.
Chicago (93-53) was hoping to begin a 10-game homestand with a boozy celebration of its first division title since 2008. But Keon Broxton homered and Orlando Arcia drove in two runs for Milwaukee, making the Cubs wait for the result of St. Louis' game at San Francisco to find out if their season-long dominance of the Central was complete.
The crowd of 41,362 cheered loudly when Hunter Pence's two-run homer in the first inning against the Cardinals was shown on the video board in left field.
Johnny Cueto pitches 5-hitter, Giants beat Cardinals 6-2
SAN FRANCISCO - Fist-pumping Johnny Cueto pitched a five-hitter and retired his final 17 batters, and the San Francisco Giants gained ground in the playoff race with a 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.
The Cardinals' loss clinched the NL Central title for the Chicago Cubs.
Hunter Pence hit a two-run homer, Cueto (16-5) had a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fourth and Angel Pagan followed with an RBI single. Denard Span added a two-run single in the seventh for San Francisco.
The Giants gained a game on the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, who are ahead by four after losing at Arizona.
San Francisco also moved a game ahead of the Mets in the chase for the top NL wild card and two games up on the Cardinals.
St. Louis opened a 10-game road trip, its last of 2016.
Right-hander Trevor Rosenthal activated by St. Louis
SAN FRANCISCO - Right-hander Trevor Rosenthal was activated from the 15-day disabled list by the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday.
He had been sidelined since July 26 with inflammation in his throwing shoulder, that after losing his job as closer in late June.
He is 2-4 with a 5.13 ERA and 14 saves in 18 chances in 40 appearances this season, though manager Mike Matheny had said before the DL stint that he wouldn't be used in key moments.
Rosenthal led the majors with a combined 93 saves the last two seasons. He had a 2.11 ERA in April and May this year, but then gave up 15 earned runs in 16 1/3 innings in June and July.
>> Sox Top Indians
Jose Abreu continued his torrid streak with a home run and single and Carlos Sanchez drove in the winning run in the ninth inning in the Chicago White Sox's 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
The White Sox took three of four games in the series to conclude a 6-4 homestead against three playoff hopefuls. The first-place Indians remained six games ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.
After Omar Narvaez led off the ninth with a single off Bryan Shaw (2-5), pinch-runner Leury Garcia stole second while Avisail Garcia struck out. Sanchez followed with a bloop single to right-center.
David Robertson (5-3) pitched a scoreless inning to earn the victory.