MILWAUKEE – Jon Lester notched his 200th career win, Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 Monday night for their ninth consecutive win.
The Cardinals have won nine straight for the first time since 2004 to solidify their grip on the second NL wild card. They entered the night three games ahead of Cincinnati and Philadelphia for the final postseason spot.
The longest winning streak in franchise history is 14 games, set in 1935.
Milwaukee's magic number over the Cardinals to clinch the division title remained at three.
Lester (7-6) is the third active pitcher with 200 wins, joining Houston teammates Justin Verlander (226) and Zack Greinke (219). He's the 30th left-hander in major-league history to reach the mark.
St. Louis got on the board in the first on Arenado's homer, his 33rd of the season, off Freddy Peralta (9-5).
ROYALS 7-4, INDIANS 2-2: In Cleveland,Salvador Perez hit his 46th home run to break Johnny Bench's record for most by a catcher in a season to highlight the opener as Kansas City swept the doubleheader.
Perez hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to top Bench's total from 1970 for the highest total by a player who spent at least 75% of his team's games at catcher.
Perez also moved into a tie for the major league lead in homers with Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Perez leads the majors with 115 RBI.
In the second game, Perez hit an early double before striking out against Anthony Gose, a former outfielder who returned to the majors after a five-year absence as a hard-throwing reliever.
TIGERS 4, WHITE SOX 3: In Detroit, Harold Castro hit an eighth-inning single to break a 3-all tie for Detroit.
With two outs in the eighth, Craig Kimbrel (2-2) hit Robbie Grossman with a pitch. Grossman stole second, and Castro drove a 2-2 pitch through the infield.