A pair of Mississippi natives went toe-to-toe at Wrigley Field on Sunday in a veritable must-win game for the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers did win, but, much to their chagrin, so did St. Louis, which got a clutch performance from another Magnolia State product in its seventh straight victory. Just another day of drama in the National League Central. Chicago Cubs left-hander Justin Steele, the pride of Lucedale, outpitched Milwaukee starter Brandon Woodruff of Wheeler, but the Brewers rallied late against the Cubs’ leaky bullpen for a 5-2 win, avoiding a series sweep. Steele allowed just two hits with nine strikeouts in six scoreless innings; the George County High alum has a 3.25 ERA in 23 starts for a Cubs team that has long been out of contention. Mississippi State product Woodruff, making his 19th start, threw 105 pitches over 5 2/3 innings. Two of his pitches left the yard — homers by Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki. The Brewers’ rally from that 2-0 hole kept them within 5 games of the surging Cardinals in the division. Milwaukee led St. Louis by 3 games on Aug. 1, when the controversial trade of closer Josh Hader went down. They are 7-11 since. “We can get on a roll here and we can look back at this and talk about it like we always do and say this is a stretch where we got through it and started playing good baseball,” Woodruff said in an mlb.com article. “We’ll see what happens.” Playing at Arizona on Sunday, the Cardinals fell behind 4-3 in the third inning as starter Jose Quintana struggled. Enter Tupelo native and ex-MSU standout Chris Stratton, who stopped the Diamondbacks cold for 2 2/3 innings, paving the way for the Cardinals to rally late for a 6-4 win. Stratton, a trade acquisition from Pittsburgh, has a 4.32 ERA in 8 1/3 relief innings for the Cardinals. Milwaukee and St. Louis will have to wage their battle remotely for a while; they don’t go head-to-head again until Sept. 13-14 at Busch Stadium. P.S. MSU product Nathaniel Lowe hit his 18th homer — a 424-footer — for Texas in a win at Minnesota on Sunday. He is batting .386 over his last 15 games, .295 on the year. … McLaurin High alum Davis Bradshaw, back on his home turf with Double-A Pensacola (see previous post), went 6-for-13 in the rain-plagued series against the Mississippi Braves at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Bradshaw is batting .310 in 14 games since being promoted to Miami’s Double-A club.