CHICAGO — The Cincinnati Reds became the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season, beating the Chicago Cubs 5-3 Thursday while manager Dusty Baker remained in a hospital after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.
The NL Central leaders ensured themselves of at least a wild-card spot. Cincinnati cut its magic number to two for winning the division for the second time in three years.
Baker missed his second straight game. The team said that if all goes well, he could return to Cincinnati on Friday.
Johnny Cueto (18-9) pitched six shutout innings as the Red completed a three-game sweep.