Thrice as nice

Astros clinch AL West for third straight year

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For the third year in a row, the Houston Astros eclipsed triple digits in the win column and earned the American League West crown, becoming just the sixth team to have three consecutive 100-win seasons.

It was their 102nd win, however, that officially clinched the division title Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Angels where George Springer finished 3-for-3 at the plate with three home runs and four RBIs. Justin Verlander worked through five innings on the mound, allowing six hits and two earned runs with five strikeouts.

Houston was able to celebrate with its home crowd and spray champagne in its home locker room after becoming a member of a select group of teams to have three consecutive 100-loss seasons as well as three straight 100-win seasons in the same decade, an aspect Jose Altuve had the perfect perspective for after making his debut the 2011 season which was the first 100-plus-loss season.

“It’s a little crazy,” he said last Wednesday night after Astros win No. 100. “I had my first three years here and we lost how many games? (324, to be exact.) Now we're one of a few teams that have three seasons in a row of winning 100 games so we're excited because of the way we've been working hard as a team, as an organization to be at this point, it’s pretty special for us.”

To close out the season, Houston will travel to the west coast for a two-game set with the Seattle Mariners before ending the regular season with a four-game series with the Angels, which culminates on Sunday.

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