Sixteen years had passed since the Astros last won a division title. In the intervening seasons, they made the franchise's lone World Series appearance, switched leagues and underwent one of the most extensive rebuilds the sport has witnessed.
Infielder Colin Moran, who was placed on the disabled list July 23 after he was struck in the face by a foul ball off his own bat, was activated Sunday and will join the Astros on Tuesday.
The focus of the baseball world over the previous two months of the season has been on two teams: the Dodgers, first as the second coming of the 1927 Yankees and then as the reincarnation of the 2003 Tigers; and the Indians, who spent three weeks laying waste to the league around them amid their 22-game win streak.
The Houston Astros have their swagger back.
4th MLB team to secure postseason berth
A chance to clinch the American League West title and the home debut of Justin Verlander had the Astros in the mood to party on Sunday afternoon.
Around the League
On the same day former Tiger Justin Verlander made his first start in Houston as an Astro, Matthew Boyd fell an out shy of becoming the first Tigers pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Verlander six years ago, tossing a one-hit shutout in a 12-0 Tigers win over the White Sox Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park.
When he returns home from the stadium, Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis often gets into bed and watches reruns of “Friends.” Even though Galvis, 27, is from Venezuela and grasped English late in life, he is so addicted to the sitcom that he has watched every episode of the 10-season run at least five times — and counting — to the exasperation of his wife.
It had to end sometime.
Nationals star displays MVP form before Sunday's win