CHICAGO (AP) — Geovany Soto hit two two-run homers and drove in all the Chicago Cubs’ runs in a 5-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
The loss and the St. Louis Cardinals’ win over Philadelphia kept the Brewers’ magic number for clinching the NL Central at four. They are looking for their first division title in 29 years.
With Milwaukee’s loss, the NL East champion Phillies clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
The Cubs snapped a six-game losing streak to the Brewers.
All three of Soto’s career two-homer games have come against Milwaukee. He hit one off Brewers starter Chris Narveson (10-8) in the third and the second against reliever Marco Estrada in the sixth.
Cubs starter Casey Coleman (3-8) allowed one run and two hits in six innings, striking out a career-high eight. He send a five-game losing streak with his first win since May 19.
Jeff Samardzija and Sean Marshall combined for two scoreless innings of relief.
Despite inheriting a 5-1 lead, Carlos Marmol provided some drama by giving up a solo homer to Casey McGehee and allowing consecutive singles to Mark Kotsay and Jonathan Lucroy in the ninth. With runners on first and second and one out, Marmol struck out Taylor Green and Corey Hart to end the game.
Narveson was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning. He allowed three runs — two earned — four hits and three walks. Despite sweeping Cincinnati over the weekend, the Brewers have lost seven of their last 12 games.
Jerry Hairston Jr. hit a solo homer in the third, his first since joining the Brewers on July 30.
In the bottom of the inning Carlos Pena led off with a walk and Soto cleared the bleachers in left field for his 16th home run to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
With one out in the fourth, Narveson wasn’t able to pick up Marlon Byrd’s slow roller in the grass. After the error he walked Pena, then Soto followed with an RBI single to make it 3-1.
Estrada walked Alfonso Soriano leading off the sixth, and two outs later Soto made it 5-1 with his second homer.
Narveson made his first start since allowing six runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-2 loss to Philadelphia on Sept. 8.
NOTES: Cubs RHP Randy Wells is Tuesday’s scheduled starter. He is 5-0 with a 3.57 ERA in his last nine starts. … RHP Shaun Marcum is scheduled to start for the Brewers on Tuesday. In his last two starts, Marcum allowed 10 earned runs in 11 2-3 innings. … Before the game the Cubs called up C Steve Clevenger and RHP Rafael Dolis from Double-A Tennessee. … Cubs SS Starlin Castro has reached base in 32 straight games.
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