Cardinals send NL Central race into final-day drama with 2-1 win over Cubs

SHARE Cardinals send NL Central race into final-day drama with 2-1 win over Cubs

Miles Mikolas didn’t allow an earned run in a victory over the Cubs Saturday.

Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas didn’t allow an earned run in eight dominant innings to beat the Cubs 2-1 Saturday in the season’s penultimate game to keep their playoff hopes alive for at least a few hours — and send the NL Central title race down to a final-day decision.

The Cubs opened the day with a one-game lead in the division over second-place Milwaukee — who went into their night game Saturday with a chance to forge a first-place tie with a victory over the long-eliminated Detroit Tigers.

The Cubs have held a division lead since winning on Aug. 1.

Mikolas (18-4), a free agent last winter who also was pursued by the Cubs, surrendered an unearned run in the first inning before shutting down the Cubs on four hits the rest of the way.

He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Paul DeJong singled home Matt Carpenter from second to tie the game in the fourth.

The Cardinals scored the go-ahead run an inning later after Cubs starter Cole Hamels opened the inning by hitting Harrison Bader with a pitch and walking Yairo Munoz.

One out later, Carpenter singled home Bader.

Hamels (4-3) pitched seven strong innings, allowing just three hits and two walks (with eight strikeouts) in the loss.

Hamels improved his ERA to 2.36 in 12 starts with the Cubs since being acquired in July from Texas.

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