Rays clinch top seed in AL playoffs, stall Astros in West

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Tampa Bay Rays' Ji-Man Choi (26) celebrates with Brett Phillips after hitting a three-run home run against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


HOUSTON (AP) — Drew Rasmussen and three relievers combined for a three-hitter, Brandon Lowe and Ji-Man Choi both homered and the Tampa Bay Rays coasted past the Houston Astros 7-0, giving them the No. 1 seed in the American League playoffs. The Astros lost for the fifth time in six games on a night they could have clinched their fourth AL West title in five seasons with a win. They could still wind up winning the division if Seattle loses later to Oakland. Tampa Bay improved to 98-60, outdoing the 2008 team for most wins in franchise history. With the best record in the AL, the two-time AL East champions secured home-field advantage through the AL Championship Series.