Milwaukee had a minor stumble in their march to their first division title in 29 years when they lost 5-2 at the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

The Brewers (90-64) are looking to close in on their first division crown since 1982 and while they temporarily lost steam with Monday's loss they still have a lead of 5 games in the National League Central with eight left in their regular season.

Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy said the team were itching to sew up the division

Everybody's antsy, he told reporters. I think we all want to get it over with, and get it done. But we have to let it come to us instead of going to get it. You can't try to force it or make it any more than it is.

The St Louis Cardinals (84-69) inched closer to the Brewers in the NL Central with a 4-3 win in Philadelphia, a win that also narrowed the gap on NL wild card leaders Atlanta to 2 1/2 games.

The Braves (87-67) lost 6-5 to the Florida Marlins and have now lost three of their last four to give their pursuers hope in the wild card.

In Arizona, pitcher Ian Kennedy dominated Pittsburgh in a 1-0 triumph to give the Diamondbacks a 5 game lead in the NL West.

Kennedy (20-4) allowed just one hit in eight innings and struck out 12 batters to record his NL-leading 20th victory of the season. Justin Upton homered in the sixth inning for the winning run.

In the American League, the Boston Red Sox (88-66) kept their two-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL wild card race by splitting a doubleheader with the Baltimore Orioles.

The Red Sox fell 6-5 to the Orioles in the opener but hit back with a much needed 18-9 rout in the second game. Boston are five games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.

The Yankees topped Minnesota 6-4 while Tampa Bay did not play on Monday.

In Chicago, the Brewers were undone by a pair of two-run homers from Chicago's Geovany Soto, who finished with all five of his team's RBIs.

Cubs starter Casey Coleman struck out eight batters and allowed one run in six innings to keep Milwaukee at bay and helped the home team build a 5-1 advantage by the sixth inning.

Jerry Hairston Jr. and Casey McGehee had solo home runs for the Brewers, but NL MVP candidate Ryan Braun went hit-less to snap his eight-game hit streak.