PITTSBURGH — The Chicago Cubs clinched a playoff spot under rookie manager David Ross, returning to the postseason after a one-year absence despite losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 on a walk-off home run by Jacob Stallings.
The NL Central-leading Cubs were assured a spot in the expanded playoff field when Philadelphia was swept in a doubleheader at Washington.
The Cubs began the day with a 4 ½-game lead over St. Louis and Cincinnati in the division standings and a magic number of four to clinch the title. Chicago missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2014.
The Pirates will host the Cubs again tonight at 7:05 p.m. before ending the series at 1:35 p.m. tomorrow.
Pittsburgh will end the season with a series against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland.