José Altuve was emphatic when asked what Carlos Correa means to the Astros after his key hit Thursday.
“We are here thanks to him,” said the Venezuelan midfielder.
Correa hit 25 home runs this season, the most of his life, with a three-run drive that guided Houston to a coronation in the AL West on Thursday, thanks to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles. Tampa Bay Rays.
It is the fourth divisional title won by the Astros in the past five seasons. In total, Houston has 10 division pennants in history.
“That sounds like something quite special,” said the Puerto Rican Correa.
The Astros will make the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season, extending a franchise record.
“They are used to winning. We hate to lose and now the fun is going to begin, ”highlighted pilot Dusty Baker.
Baker’s team will open the AL Division Series on October 7 against the Chicago White Sox. It is not yet defined who will have the home-court advantage for that series to the best in a maximum of five games.
With his big hit in the fourth inning, Correa allowed the Astros to end a streak in which they had lost five of six games.
And the celebration began at Minute Maid Park.
Orbit, the Astros mascot, entered the field with a large orange flag commemorating the divisional scepter. The players screamed and hugged after the last out.
Tampa Bay, which has already secured No. 1 on the Young Circuit for the playoffs, put runners in first and second with no outs in the ninth inning, but did not score.
The Rays’ Dominican rookie Wander Franco went 4-0 to see his 43-game hitting streak cut short. With that run, he had tied the longest of its kind in major league history by a player 20 or younger.
Frank Robinson had accomplished the feat in 1956.
Lance McCullers (13-5) took the win and Ryan Yarbrough (9-7) was the loser. (AP)