Astros complete wild-card run

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Baseball

October 03, 2005

Once again, the Houston Astros waited to the final day. And once again, they're going to the playoffs.

"That's the Astros' way," Craig Biggio said, "The only way we know how to get it done."

Roy Oswalt got his 20th win to lead the host Astros over the Chicago Cubs, 6-4, yesterday, clinching the NL wild-card berth and capping a historic comeback.

Houston started the season 15-30 and became the first team to make the postseason after falling 15 games under .500 since the 1914 Boston Braves.

"This one has to rank up there as maybe the best, coming from a long way back," said Biggio, part of five of the Astros' eight previous playoff teams. "That just tells a lot about the guys in this clubhouse."

Just like last season, when manager Phil Garner replaced Jimy Williams at the All-Star break, the Astros waited until the last day of the regular season to clinch.

Oswalt became the first pitcher since 2001-02 with consecutive 20-win seasons, throwing six innings and driving in a run for the Astros (89-73).

Houston lost the first two games of the weekend series, but avoided a tie with Philadelphia for the wild card, and having to go on the road for a one-game tiebreaker. The Phillies (88-74) won, 9-3, at Washington and finished a game back.

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