Astros clinch AL West for 5th time in 6 years, beat Rays 4-0

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Houston Astros players celebrate in the clubhouse after clinching the American League West title with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays during a baseball game Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

By DICK SCANLON

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Houston Astros clinched their fifth AL West title in six years, getting a leadoff home run from Jose Altuve in a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Headed to the postseason for the sixth straight season, Houston won for the eighth time in nine games and improved the AL’s best record to 97-51.

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Luis Garcia won his fifth straight decision, giving up two hits and four walks in five innings while striking out four. Hunter Brown and Héctor Neris finished a five-hitter, the Astros 16th shutout this season.