HOUSTON (AP) — It’s October and George Springer http://www.angelsfanproshop.com/authentic-blake-wood-jersey , Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman are all hitting home runs once again, helping the Houston Astros to a postseason win.A year after launching a World Series-record 15 homers in winning their first championship, the Astros picked up right where they left off, hitting four home runs to power past the Cleveland Indians 7-2 Friday in Game 1 of the AL Division Series.Martin Maldonado also connected for the Astros, who didn’t waste any time displaying the same power that carried them to last year’s title.Much was made about the pitching prowess these teams possess in the days leading up to this game. But it was a bunch of longballs to put the Astros ahead in this best-of-five series.“As much as I’ve heard different opinions about our offense, it’s pretty long, it’s pretty good, it’s pretty potent,” manager AJ Hinch said. “Case in point today.”Houston’s pop backed up a solid start by Justin Verlander, who bested Corey Kluber in a matchup of Cy Young Award-winning aces in the first postseason meeting between these teams.Verlander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and got his 12th playoff win. He allowed two hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings — the Indians finished with only three hits, all singles.Kluber, a two-time Cy Young winner who was coming off his first 20-win season, was tagged for three home runs in 4 2/3 innings. It was a repeat performance from last October’s ALDS, when he made two starts against the Yankees and left with a 12.79 ERA.Game 2 is Saturday in Houston. Gerrit Cole starts for the Astros against Carlos Carrasco.The Astros hit 27 homers last postseason — Springer hit five in the World Series and set a record by connecting in four straight games on his way to winning the MVP award.Bregman, coming off a breakout year Zack Greinke Jersey , got Houston’s first hit with his drive to the Crawford Boxes in left field to start a two-run fourth inning.“The only thing I can say about him is without him we wouldn’t be here,” Altuve said.The 103-win Astros were still up 2-0 when Springer led off the fifth with a full-count homer to left. That made him just the third player in major league history to homer in five straight postseason games.“I’m happy that I was able to help us win in all of those games and be a sparkplug,” Springer said.Two pitches later Altuve, last year’s AL MVP, connected for his eighth career postseason homer when he also sent one to left field. He began last year’s playoffs with three home runs in the ALDS opener against Boston.Kluber watched stone-faced as Altuve headed for first and shook his head slightly as he rounded the bases and the crowd roared with scattered chants of “MVP.”Kluber followed up his splendid regular season with another playoff dud. A year after giving up four homers in two starts against the Yankees, the longball again proved to be a problem for him. He left with two outs in the fifth inning after allowing six hits and four runs while walking three.“Last year has nothing to do with today,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “They’re a good team. He made a couple mistakes. They made him pay for it.”Verlander was masterful through the first five innings, with Cleveland’s only baserunner in that span coming on a walk to Jose Ramirez with two outs in the first. The Houston right-hander set down 13 in a row after that, fanning seven, including striking out the side in the third.Yan Gomes broke up the no-hitter with his single to shallow right field to start the sixth and Francisco Lindor singled with one out in the inning. When Verlander walked Michael Brantley to load the bases after that, Hinch had seen enough and replaced him with Ryan Pressly.The Indians cut the lead to 4-1 on a wild pitch by Pressly, who came to Houston in a July trade, and got within two when Lindor scored on a groundout by Ramirez.Maldonado, making his playoff debut, connected off Cody Allen for a two-out homer in the seventh. Bregman made it 6-2 with an RBI single later in the inning.UNHAPPY HECTORHouston reliever Hector Rondon Paul Goldschmidt Jersey , who Hinch said was “very upset” about not making the ALDS roster, did not come onto the field when he was introduced with the team’s reserves before the game. He also was not on the field during the national anthem, but did join the team in the dugout for the game.Rondon, signed by the Astros to a two-year deal in the offseason, was left off the roster in favor of hard-throwing rookie Josh James because of his ability to throw multiple innings.Hinch said Rondon could be used in the ALCS if the Astros advance. Rondon was 2-5 with 15 saves and a 3.20 ERA in 63 games.FOR STARTERSIn a season where openers and using multiple relievers instead of defined starters has become popular, Verlander believes that true starters like him remain very important to the game.“I think you need it,” he said. “I think the more relievers get used every single day, it has an effect … I don’t have the answers. But I do believe in innings. I believe in protecting the bullpen. And I believe in a starting pitcher.”UP NEXTCole (15-5, 2.88 ERA) ranked second in the AL with 276 strikeouts this season, only trailing Verlander’s 290, and was fifth with 200 1/3 innings pitched. He will be making his fourth playoff start and first since 2015 with the Pirates. He is 1-2 with a 3.94 ERA in those games.It will be just the second career postseason start for Carrasco (17-10, 3.38), who is 4-2 with a 3.45 ERA in eight appearances, with seven starts against Houston. SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers want no part of a wild-card game or the long flight that would come with it.The plan: another NL West crown.Max Muncy and his free-swinging Dodgers mates are headed for a one-game showdown against Colorado to determine the division winner back home, jumping on the San Francisco Giants from the start Sunday in a 15-0 win for a weekend sweep.The Rockies routed Washington 12-0 at Coors Field http://www.diamondbacksfanproshop.com/authentic-patrick-corbin-jersey , setting up a tiebreaker at Dodger Stadium on Monday that the home team has every intention of taking. The winner gets the division and hosts Atlanta in the best-of-five Division Series starting Thursday; the loser is on the road for the NL wild-card game Tuesday against the loser of Monday’s Brewers-Cubs NL Central tiebreaker.“We’d rather win the division than be the wild card,” Matt Kemp said. “We’re going to play it like any game we’ve been playing this last month. We’ve been playing each game like a playoff game. We’ve got to keep it going. I don’t think we want to go to the East Coast to play a one-game playoff, we’d rather have a series to play and play that series.”Walker Buehler will start for the Dodgers (91-71) as the defending NL champions try for a sixth straight West title.Rich Hill (11-5) pitched two-hit ball for seven innings to keep the playoff-bound Dodgers on a roll. The lefty found out when he woke up just before 8 a.m. Sunday he would start, having gone to bed early for him to ensure enough sleep for the possibility he would be pitching.“The biggest thing is that everybody continues to go up there and give that effort, no matter what the situation is,” Hill said.Manny Machado, Kemp and Muncy all joined the hit parade as Los Angeles left nothing to chance in Game No. 162. Kemp had a two-run double and RBI single among his three hits, while Muncy and Brian Dozier each hit two-run homers.Los Angeles followed up an 18-hit performance Saturday with 16 more to finish with 43 in the three-game series.Now, on to game No. 163.“It’s a game where obviously it’s not do-or-die, but I think that it’s a must-win game,” manager Dave Roberts said. “To win the game and get a couple days off, to host the division series is very important.”Chris Taylor drew a walk from Andrew Suarez (7-13) to get the Dodgers going Sunday, Justin Turner followed with an RBI double and the rout was on. Dozier’s drive and a two-run double by Kemp highlighted a seven-run third inning.The Dodgers clinched baseball’s final playoff berth by beating the Giants 10-6 on Saturday and celebrated with champagne in the visiting clubhouse — then all attention turned to winning another division title.So Roberts switched from Buehler to Hill (11-5), who delivered. He completed a 5-0 September and won for the sixth time in seven outings beginning Aug. 24. The lefty retired the first 10 batters in order before Joe Panik’s single in the fourth.Hill’s curveball has been clicking in recent weeks since he tweaked his delivery with a grip adjustment.“In recent memory, this is as good as I’ve seen him throw the baseball Randy Johnson Jersey ,” Roberts said. “… He understood how important this game was.”Los Angeles needed a stellar showing in its final series.The Dodgers fell out of the division lead with a 7-2 loss Wednesday at Arizona before taking all three from the injury-plagued Giants (73-89) to close out the final weekend of the regular season. A sixth straight division title by the Dodgers would be the third-longest streak since divisions started in 1969 behind Atlanta’s 14 consecutive from 1991-2005 and nine in a row by the Yankees from 1998-2006.San Francisco went a majors-worst 5-21 in September but improved on its last-place 2017 finish of 64-98 by nine wins.“No question that’s the last way we wanted this thing to go out,” manager Bruce Bochy said.SPLISH SPLASHMuncy’s pinch-hit homer gave him 34 for the season and the drive splashed into McCovey Cove beyond the right-field arcade. That marked the 44th splash homer by a Giants opponent, fifth by a Dodger and first by an LA player since Cody Bellinger on Sept. 13, 2017.PENCE’S FAREWELL?Hunter Pence went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in what was likely his final game with the Giants after 6 1/2 years. There were pins and signs reading “GR8FUL.”Pence received big cheers from the sellout crowd as he ran to the outfield some 20 minutes before first pitch and he waved and clapped in appreciation.Then out in AT&T Park’s vast right field for perhaps the final time in a Giants uniform, he tipped his cap every direction to the rousing ovation. He did the same with his batting helmet before stepping in to lead off the bottom of the first.A Pence highlight video showed before the bottom of the ninth.“Pure joy. I really just feel a tremendous amount of joy for this organization, these fans, the stadium,” Pence said. “It’s been just unbelievable to play here. You never know, I could come back … but it is unknown and it really was just amazing.”FINAL ATTENDANCEWhile the Giants drew 3 million fans for a ninth straight season and 17th time in the ballpark’s 19-year history, the 3,156,185 attendance was their lowest since 3,037,443 in 2010.