Cards fend off Brewers to keep division lead; Burnett lifts Pirates over Cincinnati


MILWAUKEE — Matt Carpenter broke Stan Musial’s team record for doubles by a left-handed batter in a season and Lance Lynn won for the first time since early August as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 Saturday to maintain a two-game lead in the NL Central.

Seeking their first division title since 2009, the Cardinals (91-64) have surged ahead of Pittsburgh (89-66) and Cincinnati (88-67), which fell three back with a 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh.

St. Louis lowered its magic number to one for clinching a postseason berth, won for the 12th time in 17 games and improved to 14-4 against the Brewers this year, including 8-1 in Milwaukee.

Carpenter’s fifth-inning double was his 54th of the season, one more than Musial’s total in 1953.

Lynn (14-10) allowed one run, four hits and four walks in 6 1-3 innings with seven strikeouts. He had been 0-5 with a 5.44 ERA in eight starts since winning at Cincinnati on Aug. 4.

Yovani Gallardo (11-10) gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings and dropped to 1-11 with a 6.46 ERA in 17 career starts against St. Louis.

Matt Adams hit a two-run homer for the second straight night for the Cardinals.

Pirates 4, Reds 2 A.J. Burnett scattered four hits over seven strong innings to help Pittsburgh move a game in front of Cincinnati for the top spot in the NL wild-card race.

Burnett (9-11) struck out a season-high 12 and Jason Grilli worked the ninth for his 31st save, his first since going to the disabled list with a strained right forearm in July.

Russell Martin hit a two-run homer and Jose Tabata added two hits as the Pirates bounced back from a late collapse in a loss on Friday night.

Zach Cozart hit his 12th home run of the season for Cincinnati and Ryan Ludwick added an RBI but Homer Bailey (11-11) ended his winning streak at six straight decisions.

Cubs 3, Braves 1 Dioner Navarro hit a tiebreaking single in a three-run eighth inning as Chicago Cubs Atlanta to keep the Braves on the brink of the NL East championship.

Atlanta’s magic number remained at one to clinch its first division title since 2005. Second-place Washington was rained out against Miami later Saturday.

Starlin Casto singled off Kris Medlen with one out in the eighth, pinch-hitter Donnie Murphy singled against Scott Downs (2-1) and Anthony Rizzo hit a tying double down the left-field line.

Navarro singled in the go-ahead run against David Carpenter, and Nate Schierholtz added a sacrifice fly. Carlos Villanueva (7-8) got three outs for the win and Pedro Strop had the save. Other games on Saturday: Dodgers 4, Padres 0

Diamondbacks 7, Rockies 2

Mets 5, Phillies 4, 6 1/2 Innings