Rays clinch top seed in AL playoffs and stal Astros in West

Rays clinch top seed in AL playoffs and stal Astros in West ...

Drew Rasmussen and three relievers combined for a three-hitter as Brandon Lowe and Ji-Man Choi both homered as the Tampa Bay Rays cruised past the Houston Astros 7-0 on Wednesday night, 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 ostensibly beaten. If Seattle loses to Oakland later, they may still win the division.

Tampa Bay went from 98-60 to 96-60, outperforming the 2008 team for most franchise wins in history. With the highest record in the AL, the two-time AL East champions gained home-field advantage through the League Championship Series.

It's the third time the Rays will compete as the top seed in the playoffs, and they're the first AL team to do it in consecutive seasons since the Yankees drew in 2011-12.

Wander Franco, the rookie Wander Frank of Rays, doubled and singled twice, and safely reached base for the 43rd straight game, ties him with Frank Robinson in 1956 for his longest streak by a player 20 or younger.

Rasmussen (4-1) allowed one hit over five innings. Luis Patio allowed one hit in two innings, and Ryan Sherriff gave up one hitting in 123 innings but was lifted after walking a batter and hitting another one with two outs in the ninth. Louis Head took over, and he got the final out.

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