ATLANTA (AP) — Max Olson hit his major league-leading 54th homer, and the Atlanta Braves clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason with a 5-3 win over the slumping Chicago Cubs on Thursday night.
Austin Riley had three hits and scored two runs as the Braves (103-56) won for the sixth time in seven games. The NL East champions can match the franchise record for wins with a season-ending sweep of the Nationals.
Chicago has dropped 13 of 19 to fall out of position for an NL wild card. With the three-game sweep by the Braves, the Cubs (82-77) fell a half-game back of Miami for the third wild card, pending the result of the Marlins' rain-delayed game against the New York Mets.
Atlanta rookie A.J. Smith-Shawver allowed a run in 3 2/3 hitless innings. Kyle Wright (1-3) then came in and pitched 2 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Raisel Iglesias picked up his 32nd save with a perfect ninth inning.
Chicago right-hander Marcus Stroman (10-9) was charged with four runs, two earned, and four hits in two innings. It was his second start and fourth appearance overall since coming off the injured list Sept. 15.
Seiya Suzuki had three hits and two RBIs for the Cubs. Nico Hoerner went 2 for 4 and scored a run.
Chicago trailed 5-1 before Suzuki doubled home Ian Happ in the sixth. Suzuki singled in Hoerner in the eighth, but Dansby Swanson bounced into a double play to end the threat.
Atlanta jumped in front on Olson's two-run shot with two out in the first. Olson's drive went just inside the right-field foul pole.
Michael Harris II added an RBI double in the second, and then scored on a two-out single by Ronald Acuña Jr.
The Braves opened a 5-1 lead in the third when Riley scored on an error by pitcher Javier Assad. It was the 14th error in 19 games for the Cubs and second of the game.
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (6-8, 3.66 ERA) will open the final three-game series of the season at Milwaukee against Brewers RHP Colin Rea (6-6, 4.74 ERA) on Friday.
Braves: RHP Allan Winans (1-2, 4.33 ERA) will face Washington RHP Trevor Williams (6-10, 5.55 ERA) as the Braves open their final regular-season series against the visiting Nationals.
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