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Astros clinch AL West title with win over Rays


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The Houston Astros are once again atop the American League West and have clinched their Fifth Division title for the past six seasons with a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Astros won for the eighth time in nine games and improved to 97-51 this season – the best record in baseball. Houston clinched a playoff berth for the sixth straight time. With the new playoff format, the Astros also clinched a first-round bye in the American League Divisional Series.

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Houston’s Luis Garcia got quick support.

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) celebrates with third baseman Alex Bregman (2) after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in a baseball game Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Florida.
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Jose Altuve hit a solo home run against Drew Rasumussen in the first inning — his 25th dinger of the season. Altuve finished 2 for 4 with two runs scored. He beats .292 on the season with an .891 OPS.

Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez also contributed with RBI to the win.

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Astros clinch AL West title with win over Rays

Houston Astros players celebrate in the clubhouse after winning the American League West title with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays in a baseball game Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, in St. Petersburg, in Florida.
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Garcia played five innings. He allowed two hits and struck out four batters. He won his 13th victory of the season.

The Astros are currently on their best playoff streak in franchise history. The team had made the playoffs since the 2017 season – the last time they won the World Series. Houston lost to the Atlanta Braves in six games in last year’s World Series.

The Rays are still in contention for the second of three American League wildcard spots.

Astros clinch AL West title with win over Rays

Houston Astros relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) hugs wide receiver Christian Vazquez after the team defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in a baseball game Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Florida.
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

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The team is one game behind the Toronto Blue Jays for first place and half a game ahead of the third-place Seattle Mariners.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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