(Photo credit: Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK)
Behind home runs by Alex Bregman and Jose Abreu, the Houston Astros claimed the American League West title with their 8-1 victory Sunday over the Arizona Diamondbacks in a completion of a three-game sweep in Phoenix to conclude the regular season.
The win by Houston (90-72) matched with the Texas Rangers' 1-0 loss at the Seattle Mariners gave the Astros the AL West championship.
The Rangers are also 90-72 but the Astros won the season series 9-4 between the teams.
The division title, Houston's sixth in the last seven years, gives the Astros a bye through the wild-card round. They will begin postseason play Saturday.
Houston's Kyle Tucker came close to achieving the first 30-home run and 30-stole base season in his career with a potential inside-the-park home run in the top of the fifth inning that gave Houston a 6-0 lead.
Tucker, in his sixth season, was first ruled to have a triple with an error on shortstop Jordan Lawlar for not completing the relay throw.
The official scorekeeper changed the call to a home run because Lawlar did not commit a throwing error.
Minutes later, the call was changed to a triple and a fielder's choice.
Arizona (84-78) scored only two runs in the three losses to the Astros in the series.
The Diamondbacks reached the postseason as a wild card in the National League on Saturday when the Cincinnati Reds lost to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Houston sent its entire lineup to the plate in the first inning Sunday when it scored four runs to take early control of the game.
Bregman hit a two-run home run with no outs off starter Kyle Nelson (7-4) to start the rally.
Houston's lead became 5-0 when Tucker hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning, scoring Bregman, who earlier tripled.
Abreu hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning to put Houston ahead 8-0.
Houston starter Cristian Javier (10-5) was the winning pitcher, allowing three hits in six scoreless innings. He struck out four and walked two.
The Diamondbacks' lone run occurred on Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s RBI double in the eighth inning.
--Field Level Media