Following a 4-0 win over the Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field, the Astros strolled out of the dugout, put on their division championship t-shirts, and posed for a team photo between home plate and the mound.

Houston Celebrates Division Title At Trop, Where Rays And Astros Could Meet In October

 Following a 4-0 win over the Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field, the Astros strolled out of the dugout, put on their division championship t-shirts, and posed for a team photo between home plate and the mound.
Source: Houston Astros Twitter

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Following a 4-0 win over the Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field, the Astros strolled out of the dugout, put on their division championship t-shirts, and posed for a team photo between home plate and the mound.

Then the real party got underway as corks popped and suds flowed in a jubilant clubhouse as Houston clinched their fifth American League West title in the last six years.

“It’s pretty phenomenal that we clinched in my hometown,” said Tampa native and Plant High product Kyle Tucker, who has driven in 99 runs this season. “But we’re not done yet. We have a team that can do a lot more.”

The Rays will likely have a playoff-clinching celebration, which could take place, ironically, in Houston next week. However, the hope is they nail down one of the three wild-card spots sooner.

Regardless, the teams, who did not see each other this season until Monday night and have five more games between them, could very well meet next month when the stakes are much higher.

“It’s a pretty good test,” said Harold Ramirez, who had three of the Rays’ five hits in the loss. “I know we’re going to face those guys in the playoffs, too.”

With their pitching staff and powerful lineup – Trey Mancini was hitting seventh Monday — the Astros (97-51) are built for the long haul.

“In my opinion, they are the best team,” said Ramirez, who had three of the Rays’ five hits. “You can see it, because they win a lot, they have good players. But we have to compete. I believe in all of my teammates.”

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There is certainly no lack of belief in the Rays clubhouse. They have overcome so much to get to this point and will be tested the rest of the way by other teams they could face in October.

After the three-game series with Houston concludes, the Blue Jays visit the Trop for a four-game series that gets underway Thursday night. The Rays then hit to road for the season’s final nine games starting with three in Cleveland followed by three in Houston. The season concludes with three games in Boston.

“We love the big moment, we love the competition, and I think it’s going to be fun,” said Shane McClanahan, who takes the mound for the Rays on Tuesday night.

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