HOUSTON (KIAH) — The centerfield team store at Minute Maid Park rolled out the championship gear as soon as the final out was recorded Sunday afternoon.
The Houston Astros clobbered the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-1, and because Seattle had closed-out a 1-0 win over the Texas Rangers minutes before, Houston won the American League Western Division.
It seemed unlikely at times during the season with the Rangers in first place for the vast majority of the 162-game schedule.
But on the season’s last day, the two teams ended with identical 90-72 records giving the Astros their sixth AL West crown in seven years courtesy of a tiebreaker.
“A lot of people were wondering what it was going to be like if the ‘Stros didn’t win the division — I guess we’ll never know” Astros third baseman Alex Bregman said before dousing teammates with champagne following Sunday’s win.
The Astros are now the No. 2 seed in the American League giving them a first-round bye in the playoffs. They have five more days off before their first postseason game.
The Astros will begin a five-game Division Series starting Saturday against the winner of a three-game series that starts Tuesday between the AL Central Division-champion Minnesota Twins and the Toronto Blue Jays, who won the third and final wild card.