Astros celebrate first playoff berth since 2005

Sun Oct 4, 2015 10:05pm EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - Houston lost to Arizona 5-3 on Sunday when Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning, but the Astros still managed to clinch their first playoffs berth since 2005.

Houston (86-76) qualified when the Texas Rangers beat the Angels to claim the AL West title and eliminate Los Angeles from playoff contention.

"Nobody else outside this clubhouse thought we had a chance," Houston manager AJ Hinch told his players in a champagne-soaked dressing room.

"They said a lot of things about this team, right? One thing they are going to say forever is that we are a playoff team. I'll bet on this team. I love you (guys)."

The Astros will play the New York Yankees in the AL wild-card game on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, with the winner advancing to a best-of-five AL Division Series against the Royals beginning on Thursday in Kansas City.

AL Cy Young candidate Dallas Keuchel (20-8) will start on Tuesday for the Astros on three days' rest, Hinch said.

"What matters right now is that we are going to the playoffs," Astros second baseman Jose Altuve said.

"We're going to play hard every day, no matter what."

Altuve had two singles and a triple on Sunday to reach 200 hits for the second time in his career.   Continued...

Oct 3, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro (15) hits an RBI single in the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.  Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports