CLEVELAND (AP) — When the challenge arose in August, the Houston Astros responded like champions. They’re doing it again in October.

Showing no weaknesses while exposing Cleveland’s flaws at every opportunity, the Astros took another step toward defending their crown Monday by finishing off a surprisingly easy three-game AL Division Series sweep with an 11-3 blowout of the Indians, who were overmatched on the mound, at the plate and in the field.

Houston outscored Cleveland 21-6. The Astros outhit the Indians .327 to .144 and banged out eight homers with making an error.

The Astros now have some time to relax and get ready for the Boston-New York series survivor in the ALCS.

In Atlanta the Braves failed again.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

ATLANTA (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988. Monday they finished off the Atlanta Braves with a 6-2 victory in the NL Division Series.

Manny Machado hit a three-run homer and David Freese came through again in the postseason to lead the Dodgers into the NL Championship Series for the third year in a row. Los Angeles moved on to face the Brewers after taking out the Baby Braves 3-1 in the best-of-five series.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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