Freddie Freeman stood soaked in champagne with music blaring and his teammates jamming in celebration.
This was just how the longtime star first baseman envisioned it when the Atlanta Braves began spring training seven months ago.
"You could tell after the first week of workouts that we had the talent to do something special," Freeman said. "Obviously we still needed to put it together. But this is what happens. You win the division after three straight 90-loss seasons."
The Braves capped a most surprising season by clinching their first NL East crown since 2013, with Mike Foltynewicz taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning Saturday in a 5-3 home victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
A year after going 70-92, manager Brian Snitker and his Baby Braves surged back into the playoffs. A loud crowd at SunTrust Park joined the party when rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. caught a fly ball for the final out, setting off another round of the Tomahawk Chop and a big celebration on the field.
"When we started this series, we knew it was within our grasp," Snitker said after the Braves beat second-place Philadlephia for the third day in a row. "We knew we couldn't lose track of today. I know I'm redundant saying that all the time, but I felt we just needed to stay current and worry about today's game. These guys have done an unbelievable job of that this year."
Pittsburgh 3, Milwaukee 0: Trevor Williams combined with three relievers on a five-hitter that led the host Pirates to a shutout. Milwaukee's wild-card lead fell to two games over St. Louis, and the Brewers fell 2½ games behind the Cubs in the NL Central with seven games left.
Los Angeles 7, San Diego 2: Manny Machado slugged a three-run homer on his bobblehead night to highlight a five-run third inning, and the host Dodgers remained 1½ games ahead of Colorado in the NL West by beating the Padres. Los Angeles hit three home runs in all and has a club-record 222 this season.
Colorado 5, Arizona 1: Antonio Senzatela gave up three hits in seven strong innings and the Rockies kept pace in their playoff push by beating the host Diamondbacks.
St. Louis 5, San Francisco 4 (10): Tyler O'Neill homered in the 10th inning, giving the Cardinals their 11th walkoff victory of the season.
Washington 6, New York 0: Rookie Austin Voth and four relievers combined on a one-hitter and the host Nationals beat the Mets.
Miami 5, Cincinnati 1: Austin Dean homered and drove in three runs as the host Marlins beat the Reds.
New York 3, Baltimore 2 (11): Aaron Hicks doubled home the winning run in the 11th inning, and the host Yankees clinched an AL wild card by handing the Orioles their 110th loss. Hicks and Luke Voit homered in the second inning, but Baltimore tied the score with runs in the third and the fifth off Lance Lynn.
Cleveland 5, Boston 4: Michael Brantley drove in the winning run in the 11th inning, and the host Indians delayed the Red Sox's bid for a club-record 106th victory and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Houston 10, Los Angeles 5: Justin Verlander struck out 11 in six dominant innings, Jose Altuve capped a nine-run eighth with a two-run homer and the Astros rallied vs. the Angels, who scored five times in the top of the inning.
Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 2: Rookie lefthander Thomas Pannone pitched 6⅔ innings to win his third consecutive start, and the host Blue Jays dealt another blow to the Rays' faint playoff hopes.
Seattle 13, Texas 0: Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning and the Mariners beat the host Rangers.
Chicago Cubs 8, Chicago White Sox 3: Javier Baez homered and the Cubs took advantage of a huge mistake by Ryan LaMarre, beating the host White Sox. With one out and runners on first and second in the top of the fifth inning, Daniel Murphy hit a drive to left field. LaMarre broke in on the ball and it sailed over his head for an RBI double.