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Central Division Champs! Brewers beat Cubs 3-1 at Wrigley Field

CHICAGO — The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Monday, Oct. 1 at Wrigley Field — and became champions of the Central Division for 2018.

Christian Yelich strengthened his case for NL MVP when he slapped an RBI single back up the middle in the NL Central tiebreaker game, giving the Brewers a 1-0 lead over the Cubs in the third inning. The silky-smooth slugger stalled in his bid for the league’s first Triple Crown in decades.

“I know how hard it is to get to this point and I’m proud to be a part of this group,” Yelich said as Milwaukee’s boozy party swirled around him, filling every inch of the cramped visitors’ clubhouse at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs’ first hit of the game was a homerun to right field from Anthony Rizzo that came in the bottom of the fifth inning. The score was tied up — 1-1.

In the top half of the 8th inning, Lorenzo Cain ripped a single up the middle, scoring Orlando Arcia. The Brewers took a 2-1 lead at that point.

But minutes later, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun drove in another run with a single to right-center — and driving in Domingo Santa. The lead increased to 3-1.

Josh Hader came in for the Brewers in the 8th and 9th innings to secure the victory, allowing just one hit. The final — Brewers 3, Cubs 1.

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 01: Members of the Milwaukee brewers celebrate after beating the Chicago Cubs in the National League Tiebreaker Game at Wrigley Field on October 1, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 3-1 to win the Central Division. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 01: Members of the Milwaukee brewers celebrate after beating the Chicago Cubs in the National League Tiebreaker Game at Wrigley Field on October 1, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 3-1 to win the Central Division. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Milwaukee trailed Chicago by as many as five games in September, but manager Craig Counsell’s club pushed the season to an extra day with a furious finish and then used its deep lineup and bullpen to outlast the playoff-tested Cubs.

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 01: Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates after the Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs in the National League Tiebreaker Game at Wrigley Field on October 1, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 3-1 to win the Central Division. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

A sizable portion of Milwaukee fans in the crowd of 38,450 chanted “Let’s go Brewers! Let’s go Brewers!” — a rarity at Wrigley over the past few years.

“We could hear ’em, we could really hear them and we fed off of that,” Yelich said. “We wanted to bring this home for them.”

Yelich also heard repeated “MVP!” chants when he singled in each of his first three at-bats. He drove in Arcia with his two-out hit in the third.

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 01: Erik Kratz #15 of the Milwaukee Brewers (R) hugs Josh Hader #71 after a win over the Chicago Cubs in the National League Tiebreaker Game at Wrigley Field on October 1, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 3-1 to win the Central Division. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 01: Lorenzo Cain #6 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates a win over the Chicago Cubs in the National League Tiebreaker Game at Wrigley Field on October 1, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 3-1 to win the Central Division. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 01: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers pours beer on himself during a celebration in the locker room after a win against the Chicago Cubs in the National League Tiebreaker Game at Wrigley Field on October 1, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 3-1 to win the Central Division. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 01: Members of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrate in the locker room after beating the Chicago Cubs in the National League Tiebreaker Game at Wrigley Field on October 1, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 3-1 to win the Central Division. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Brewers now get home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. The Cubs play again Tuesday night, hosting the runner-up in the NL West in the wild-card game. CLICK HERE to purchase whatever postseason tickets are available.

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 01: Starting pticher Jhoulys Chacin #45 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs during the National League Tiebreaker Game at Wrigley Field on October 1, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Jhoulys Chacin started the NL Central tiebreaker for the Brewers. The 30-year-old Chacin is 15-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 34 starts. The right-hander pitched five innings of one-hit ball in a 2-1 victory at St. Louis on Wednesday night.

Jose Quintana pitched for the Cubs. The left-hander is 6-2 with a 1.60 ERA in 10 starts against Milwaukee.

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 01: Starting pitcher Jose Quintana #62 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball against the Milwaukee Brewers during the National League Tiebreaker Game at Wrigley Field on October 1, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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