Cards make playoffs despite 5-3 loss to Milwaukee
St. Louis, MO – The Cardinals clinched their third straight N.L. Central title Sunday, despite losing 5-3 to Milwaukee.
A sell-out crowd at Busch Stadium stood and broke into an impromptu tomahawk chop when it found out that the second-place Houston Astros lost 3-1 in Atlanta. That loss eliminated the Astros from playoff contention.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa hugged several players in the dugout during a brief stoppage before play resumed.
At the end of the fifth inning, there were more cheers when the team's sixth trip to the post-season in seven years was recognized on the scoreboard with the words: 'N-L Central Division Champs 2006.'
The Cardinals lost nine of their last 12, nearly squandering a seven-game lead. It's the sixth trip to the postseason in seven years for St. Louis.
The Cardinals will face San Diego Tuesday at Petco Park as the first round of the playoffs get under way.