By LIZ BERGERINGER and TIMOTHY KUPERINICHNISCHENKELOWAssociated PressAssociated PressCLEVELAND (AP) Joe Maddons first two games against the Cubs were a disaster.
The Cubs clinched the NL Central with two wins, and they were the first team in the history of the postseason to sweep a division title with two games to spare.
Maddon, whose team had won just three of its previous 34 games, was named NL Manager of the Year for his team’s win streak that ended Tuesday with a 5-2 win over the Cardinals.
The win is the Cubs’ first since beating the Brewers in the National League Division Series.
The next four games are at Fenway Park, and the Cubs are 2 1/2 games ahead of Pittsburgh for the NL East lead.
It was the first time in league history that two teams swept a division.
Maddons first game as Cubs manager was an unmitigated disaster.
The Cubs were 1-8 at home when they started Maddons tenure.
The first five games were ugly.
The first six games were a complete disaster.
They went 3-6 with four blown saves and a 1.64 ERA.
The team was also 0-4 on the road when it started Maddons tenure.
The road start was even worse, as the Cubs went 0-8 with a 3.33 ERA and nine blown saves.
The teams were playing at home for the first half of the season and Maddons team has lost six of seven.
The second half of Maddons time in Chicago came to an end.
Maddons teams winning streak was snapped, as his teams 5-3 record became the worst in the majors.
Morton was named the NL Manager for the second straight season.
Madsons first win came in the first inning of the game against the Brewers when he struck out three batters and struck out two batters in his first at-bat.
The ball went out of the park for a solo home run by Jason Kubel to tie the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second.
The Brewers scored three in the third inning.
The tying run on a grounder to second was the Cubs 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals tied the game with a single in the fifth.
It would take a wild pitch in the eighth for the Cubs to pull away.
The Cardinals hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth off reliever Matt Shoemaker.
The final out of that inning was a sacrifice fly by shortstop Miguel Montero, who pitched the ninth for the Cardinals to a 6-5 win.