Alex Bregman's two-run home run was the difference in this one, as the third baseman now has 31 on the season. Houston now needs three victories in the team's final five games to break the franchise wins record, as they have two more contests with the Toronto Blue Jays and three with the Baltimore Orioles to end the regular season. The franchise record was set in 1998.
The defending champs improved to 18-4 in the month of September, making it impossible for the Athletics to catch up to them in the division race. They also moved their road record to a major-league best 54-22, as Roberto Osuna needed just six pitches to earn his 20th save in 21 tries to seal the clinching victory. The Astros will now open the American League Division Series at home against the Cleveland Indians on October 5th.
Another clinching number came from a non-playoff team, as Max Scherzer made history with his 300th strikeout of the season in the Washington Nationals' 9-4 win over the Miami Marlins. Scherzer is just the 17th pitcher since 1900 to reach that number in a season, as he struck out 10 batters over seven innings in his 18th win of the season.
The right-hander allowed just one run and did not walk a batter, all while being supported early on when his team scored three runs in the first. These numbers adds to his case as the Cy Young Award winner, which he won in 2013 as a member of the Detroit Tigers. The Marlins got five hits off of the multi-colored eye star, who threw 70 of his 100 pitches for strikes. He has reached 10 strikeouts in 18 of his 33 starts this season and 82 times in his career.
Anthony Rendon got things going early on with a three-run home run, extending his on-base streak to 33 straight games. Rendon now has 24 home runs and 90 RBIs, which he added to with an RBI double later on. Bryce Harper scored twice in the win for the Nats, who moved their record back to .500 at home and two games over on the season.