The Houston Astros sit on the top of the American League West yet again and clinched their fifth division title in the last six seasons with a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Astros won for the eighth time in nine games and improved to 97-51 on the season – the best record in baseball. Houston clinched a playoff spot for the sixth consecutive time. With the new playoff format, the Astros also clinched a first-round bye into the American League Divisional Series.
Houston’s Luis Garcia got run support early.
Jose Altuve hit a solo home run off Drew Rasumussen in the first inning – his 25th dinger of the season. Altuve finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored. He’s batting .292 on the season with an .891 OPS.
Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez also contributed with RBI in the win.
Garcia went five innings. He allowed two hits and struck out four batters. He picked up his 13th win of the season.
The Astros are currently on their best playoff-berth streak in franchise history. The team had made the playoffs ever 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 the three American League wild-card berths.
The team is one game behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the top spot and a half-game ahead of the Seattle Mariners, who have the third spot.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.