Three losses added up to a huge win for the Milwaukee Brewers, who backed their way into a first-round playoff series against the Dodgers with assists from the San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays.
Milwaukee closed the regular season Sunday with a 5-2 loss to St. Louis. The Brewers (29-31) finished fourth in the National League Central. They did not spend one day of the 60-game season over .500.
But with four teams vying for the final two NL playoff spots Sunday, the Brewers secured a trip to Los Angeles for a best-of-three series beginning Wednesday because San Francisco lost to the Padres 5-4 and Philadelphia lost to the Rays 5-0.
The Giants (29-31) and Phillies (28-32) would have claimed playoff spots with victories. Milwaukee and San Francisco have identical records, but the Brewers had the tiebreaker edge with their record against division opponents (19-21) better than the Giants’ (18-22).
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