Cardinals win 17th straight, secure NL WC berth

ST. LOUIS — Nolan Arenado, Jose Rondon and Dylan Carlson homered and the St. Louis Cardinals won their 17th consecutive game, a 6-2 decision over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, clinching the National League’s second wild-card berth.

The streak is the longest in franchise history and allowed St. Louis fans to start making postseason plans for weeks. Though the Cardinals didn’t clinch till the last week of the season, they’ve been comfortably ahead of the field and have long seemed destined for a wild-card matchup against either the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants, while the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres faded.

The streak is also the longest in the majors since Cleveland took 22 in a row in 2017, and the best in the National League since the New York Giants won 16 straight in 1951 on their way to an improbable pennant.

Arenado — whose 34th home run of the season came with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning — and the offense was sharp again, but there was plenty of pitching to go around, as well.

Adam Wainwright pitched six strong innings for the home team, allowing seven hits and two earned runs while striking out four before giving way to the bullpen.

Wainwright also pitched in at the plate with an RBI, and Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill authored their 35th and 25th doubles of the season in a feel-good return to St. Louis after a lengthy road trip. The Cardinals have hit 34 home runs during this streak.

The only bit of bad news came when it was announced that catcher Yadier Molina was scratched. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, that was just the second time all season that he hasn’t started a game when Wainwright on the mound. Molina has also started 12 of the Cardinals’ games during the win streak.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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