(Reuters) - The St. Louis Cardinals lost 5-4 to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday but had something to celebrate when they became the first Major League Baseball team to clinch a post-season berth.
The Cardinals, who lead National League teams with 11 World Series championships, reserved their berth in the 2015 playoffs via Arizona’s 6-0 win over the San Francisco Giants.
St. Louis, whose 92-56 record is tops in the major leagues, extended their run as a playoff team to five years in a row, and manager Mike Matheny stands as the only MLB manager ever to lead his club to the post-season in his first full four seasons.
The Cards have other goals ahead, including claiming National League Central title. They lead division rivals the Pittsburgh Pirates by 4 1/2 games and the Cubs by five.
Pittsburgh and Chicago are also their closest competitors for best record in the league, which would secure home-field advantage for a possible run through the league championship series.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Andrew Both