Astros clinch AL West for second consecutive year after A’s fall to Mariners on walk-off

The defending World Series champion Houston Astros have won the AL West again. 

Houston captured its second consecutive AL West title with a 4-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays followed by the Oakland A's 10-8 walk-off loss in 11 innings to the Seattle Mariners. It is the eighth division title in the Astros' franchise history.

The Astros got an unexpected challenge in the season's second half from the Oakland A's. The Athletics were 36-36, 12 games back of Houston, on June 18.

Since then, however, the A's have been among the best teams in baseball, sitting at 95-63. But the Astros kept the pedal to the metal as well, holding off the A's to clinch the division at 5.5 games up. 

A first-round matchup with the Cleveland Indians awaits the Astros in the ALDS as they attempt to become the first team to repeat as World Series champs since the New York Yankees won three in a row from 1998-2000. Game 1 of the Astros' title defense will come at home on Oct. 5.

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