Cardinals first to clinch post-season spot

Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:34pm EDT
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(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)

Sep 19, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha (52) pitches against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports