|Chi. Cubs (66-94)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||7||1|
|St. Louis (95-65) «||3||0||1||2||0||1||0||0||x||7||10||0|
ST. LOUIS -- Lance Lynn was one of the more enthusiastic participants as the St. Louis Cardinals sprayed champagne, showing a wide smile he could not contain.
St. Louis (95-65) has won six of seven and is tied with Atlanta for the best record in the NL. They are assured of home-field advantage when the NL division series starts Thursday.
"I think relentless is probably the term that might sum it up," said second-year manager Mike Matheny, soaked like everybody else on the team. "It's extremely special."
The Cardinals have made it to the postseason 11 times the last 18 seasons under the ownership group led by chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. A large group of rookies was mixed in with a veteran core, and they overcame injuries to Chris Carpenter, Jason Motte, Jaime Garcia and Rafael Furcal.
"I'll sacrifice any of my clothes, anything for this," DeWitt said. "It's extremely satisfying. Think of the players we had to bring up and some of the great years we had."
A near-sellout crowd of 44,030 was on its feet, roaring and clapping in unison the final half-inning, then snapping pictures and applauding while the team celebrated near the mound. After the final out, Cardinals players put on T-shirts that read: "We Own The Central."
"We're all embracing this and understanding what we've accomplished," Freese said. "We've been through so much."
The Cubs have lost 12 of 16 and watched an opponent clinch for the third time within a week. The Braves wrapped up the NL East on Sunday at Wrigley Field and the Pirates secured a playoff spot in Chicago the following day.
"I've already said it," Sveum said. "You get something out of it."
Lynn (15-10) began his strikeout streak with Dioner Navarro to end the first. He fanned seven his first time through the order and allowed just four hits over six innings with nine strikeouts and no walks. Lynn has won consecutive starts after a skid in which he was 0-5 with a 5.44 ERA in eight outings.
Cubs leadoff man Starlin Castro had three hits, including a third-inning single that stopped Lynn strikeout streak,
Travis Wood (9-12) gave up three runs and four hits, leaving after just one inning -- when he reached 200 in a season for the first time.
"That was a shame," manager Dale Sveum said. "That kind of made you want to throw up, to have two out, nobody on and all of that happen."
After Wood's running catch in foul territory on Carlos Beltran's foul pop, six batters reached safely with two out: Molina had a two-run double off the left-field wall and Jay extended his hitting streak to 12 with an RBI single.
"That's on me," Wood said. "When you get two outs and you still face all nine, that's on you."
Holliday hit his 250th career homer and 21st this season leading off the sixth off Blake Parker.
Both benches were warned in the sixth after Lynn's high fastball struck Navarro on an arm. ... Lynn's strikeout run was the Cardinals' longest since 2009, when John Smoltz fanned seven Padres in a row in his St. Louis debut. ... Edwin Jackson (8-17, 4.74) is the Cubs starter Saturday. ... Cardinals cleanup man Allen Craig (left mid-foot sprain) was ruled out for the NL division series. ... Wood and Jeff Samardzija are among three NL duos with 200 innings apiece and are the Cubs' first since Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly in 2008. ... Molina is batting .437 against the Cubs (21 for 48) with a team-high 13 RBIs. ... The Cubs are 12-74 when allowing four runs or more.
|Cards manager Mike Matheny and Matt Holliday celebrate St. Louis' victory over the Cubs to clinch the NL Central. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Chicago (N.L.) Cubs|
|Starlin Castro, SS||4||0||3||0||0||1||0||.246|
|Donnie Murphy, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||3||.259|
|Anthony Rizzo, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.232|
|Dioner Navarro, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||.304|
|Nate Schierholtz, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.248|
|Ryan Sweeney, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.273|
|Brian Bogusevic, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.277|
|Darwin Barney, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.209|
|Travis Wood, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.222|
|Brooks Raley, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|a-Logan Watkins, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.206|
|Alberto Cabrera, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Blake Parker, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Hector Rondon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b-Junior Lake, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.289|
|Chang-Yong Lim, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Raley in the 5th|
|b-struck out for Rondon in the 8th|
|2B - Starlin Castro (33, Lynn)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Brian Bogusevic 1|
|DP - Barney-Castro-Rizzo, Barney-Castro-Rizzo-Castro-Rizzo|
|E - Dioner Navarro (5, Throwing)|
|Chicago (N.L.) Cubs|
|Travis Wood (L,9-12)||1||4||3||3||2||1||0||3.11|
|IBB - Kozma by Travis Wood|
|HBP - Holliday (by Brooks Raley)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Travis Wood 37-22, Brooks Raley 59-37, Alberto Cabrera 11-5, Blake Parker 16-11, Hector Rondon 21-12, Chang-Yong Lim 20-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brooks Raley 2-3, Alberto Cabrera 2-0, Hector Rondon 1-2, Chang-Yong Lim 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Travis Wood 9, Brooks Raley 15, Alberto Cabrera 4, Blake Parker 5, Hector Rondon 3, Chang-Yong Lim 4|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Matt Carpenter, 2B||3||1||1||0||2||0||1||.321|
|Carlos Beltran, RF||2||1||1||0||1||0||0||.297|
|Shane Robinson, RF||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.245|
|Matt Holliday, LF||2||2||2||1||2||0||0||.299|
|Matt Adams, 1B||5||1||1||0||0||2||5||.284|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||1||2||3||0||0||2||.316|
|David Freese, 3B||3||1||1||1||1||1||2||.262|
|Jon Jay, CF||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.273|
|Pete Kozma, SS||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||.215|
|Lance Lynn, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||4||.074|
|Kevin Siegrist, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Edward Mujica, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-Kolten Wong, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.148|
|Carlos Martinez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Trevor Rosenthal, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Mujica in the 7th|
|2B - Yadier Molina (43, Wood), Jon Jay (27, Cabrera)|
|HR - Matt Holliday (21, Parker), David Freese (9, Raley)|
|RBI - Matt Holliday (92), Yadier Molina 3 (78), David Freese (60), Jon Jay (66)|
|2-OUT RBI - Yadier Molina 2 (20), Jon Jay (25)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Lance Lynn (W,15-10)||6||4||0||0||0||9||0||3.97|
|HBP - Navarro (by Lance Lynn)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Lance Lynn 98-67, Kevin Siegrist 12-7, Edward Mujica 1-1, Carlos Martinez 17-12, Trevor Rosenthal 15-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Lynn 2-7, Kevin Siegrist 2-0, Carlos Martinez 1-0, Trevor Rosenthal 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Lance Lynn 23, Kevin Siegrist 2, Edward Mujica 1, Carlos Martinez 4, Trevor Rosenthal 5|
|Attendance - 44030|
|Game Time - 2:54|
|Temperature - 82|
|Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Mark Carlson, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Gerry Davis|