The Houston Astros clinched their spot in the postseason last night, but still had one more goal to play for going into the regular season finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Astros jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but a win from the Seattle Mariners proved to be the difference of the day as Houston captured their sixth division title with an 8-1 win in Phoenix.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Astros wasted no time putting runs on the board in this final regular season game, scoring four runs in the top of the first. It started with a two-run homer from Alex Bregman followed by a fielder’s choice groundout from Michael Brantley connected with a throwing error to score Yordan Alvarez and was capped off by an RBI single from Jeremy Pena to score Jose Abreu.
In the second inning, Kyle Tucker had a sacrifice fly to right field that brought in Bregman to make it a 5-0 lead for the Astros on a day when the AL West crown was still within reach.
Tucker hit an inside-the-park home run that gave him his 30th homer of the season. In addition to his 30th stolen base earlier in the series, Tucker is now just the second Astros player to have 30 stolen bases and 30 home runs since Jeff Bagwell. However, the play was changed to a triple and scoring on the throw later in the game.
However, Houston was not done in the scoring department. In the seventh inning, Abreu launched a two-run homer to left-center field to score Tucker and make the game an 8-0 advantage for the Astros.
Christian Javier has been very efficient for the Astros this afternoon, pitching six shutout innings while only allowing three hits and four strikeouts.
The Diamondbacks took away the shutout in the bottom of the eighth inning when Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled to left field, scoring Jake McCarthy to put Arizona on the board at 8-1.
Hunter Brown came in for the bottom of the ninth and slammed the door on the Diamondbacks as the Astros win 8-1 and capture the 2023 American League West division title.
BIG NUMBER: 90
The victory over Arizona gives Houston their 90th win of the 2023 season, their sixth AL West title (third straight), and their seventh consecutive postseason appearance.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Alex Bregman
Bregman finished the contest 2-4 with a two-run homer that kickstarted the run for Houston this afternoon. He finished with two RBIs on the day.
UP NEXT: The Astros are now the #2 seed in the American League. They will host the American League Division Series against the winner of the #3/#6 seed Wild Card matchup.