The Astros will clinch the division with one more win or an A's loss.

By Associated Press
September 25, 2018

TORONTO — Houston is heating up as October approaches.

The Astros clinched another AL West title and reached 100 wins for the second straight season, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Tuesday night behind Alex Bregman’s two-run homer.

Houston improved to 100-57 and was assured of first place hours later when second-place Oakland (95-63) lost at Seattle. The Astros will open the Division Series at home against Cleveland on Oct. 5.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch, said he would not stay up to watch the outcome of the Athletics game.

“I’m going to go to bed,” he said. “Do you hear my voice? I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and figure it out.”

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The Astros need three wins in their final five games to break the franchise record for victories in a season, set in 1998.

“I’m proud of this team, and they’re not done yet,” Hinch said. “To be at 100 and climbing is remarkable for this team, and we should be very proud.”

Houston is 18-4 in September and 54-22 on the road, both best in the major leagues.

“We really haven’t played our best baseball until lately,” Bregman said. “That’s a good sign heading into the postseason. I think we’re in a good spot right now.”

Roberto Osuna needed just six pitches in the ninth for his 20th save in 21 chances. Earlier Tuesday, assault charges against Osuna were dropped because the complainant, who lives in Mexico, made clear she would not travel to Toronto to testify. Osuna agreed to stay away from the alleged victim for one year and continue counseling.

Traded from Toronto to Houston in July, Osuna was booed by Blue Jays fans for the second straight game, starting with when he entered and then in between pitches. Speaking through a translator, Osuna said he was untroubled by the negative reaction.

“When I came into the game I was focused on what I had to do, so it didn’t affect me,” he said.

Josh James (2-0) allowed one run and four hits in five innings in his third big league start.

“It was probably the least efficient outing of his young career,” Hinch said. “He had to battle through some delivery issues.”

Bregman went 2 for 5 and extended his club-record streak of reaching base safely on the road to 53 games, then longest since 59 in a row by the New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter in 2006 and 2007.

Bregman hit his 31st homer, a two-run drive in the first off Sam Gaviglio. Billy McKinney’s sixth homer cut the gap in half in the third, but Houston widened its lead in the sixth when Tyler White chased Gaviglio with an RBI single and pinch-hitter Evan Gattis had a sacrifice fly off Danny Barnes.

Gaviglio (3-9) allowed four runs — three earned — and six hits in five-plus innings, his fifth straight winless outing. With Toronto’s starting rotation dealing with injuries all season, Gaviglio has made a career-high 23 starts for the Blue Jays, winning twice.

“It’s been a good experience, a lot of learning,” he said. “I wish I could have been a little more consistent.”

 

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