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Tip of the cap, respect after hard-fought ALCS

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

HOUSTON -- The Astros are headed to the Fall Classic for the second time in franchise history after prevailing over the Yankees in a hard-fought, tense seven-game American League Championship Series.

• Dress for the World Series: Get Astros postseason gear

View Full Game Coverage

HOUSTON -- The Astros are headed to the Fall Classic for the second time in franchise history after prevailing over the Yankees in a hard-fought, tense seven-game American League Championship Series.

• Dress for the World Series: Get Astros postseason gear

View Full Game Coverage

The home team won all seven games in the ALCS presented by Camping World, including a 4-0 Astros win in Game 7 on Saturday night, as Houston overcame a 3-2 Series deficit with back-to-back wins at Minute Maid Park, allowing just one run over the two victories.

Houston now heads to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers in the World Series presented by YouTube TV on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

:: ALCS schedule and coverage ::

Following three straight losses at intimidating Yankee Stadium, many Astros players spoke in awe of the atmosphere in New York, and the Yankees followed suit after dropping the final two games at raucous Minute Maid Park. It was a series that brought out the best in both clubs, and each team came away impressed with the other, as well as their fans.

Here's what they had to say:

YANKEES

Manager Joe Girardi
"We just happened to run into a very good team that just beat us. I'd like to congratulate A.J. Hinch and the Astros. They beat us. And that's the bottom line. You've got to give them credit. They pitched their rear ends off."

Left fielder Brett Gardner
"We ran into a really good team and some really good pitching. My hat goes off to those guys over there, and I wish them the best of luck in the World Series."

Third baseman Todd Frazier
"It was loud. It was a great atmosphere. Their pitching just dominated us, and that was it. We squandered some opportunities, but you can look back on every little play from the first game we played to the last. Both teams had plenty of opportunities. We battled our tails off. It stings to say that this is it."

Right fielder Aaron Judge
"Home-field advantage plays a big role. In the Bronx, our crowds were rocking every night and it was electric, but it was the same thing here in Houston. Their crowd was on its feet the entire game. That's what you want to play in. It was a lot of fun."

Tweet from @Yankees: Congrats @astros on the AL title and an entertaining series. Looking forward to many more battles, both big and small, in the future! pic.twitter.com/9jakiCsst6

ASTROS

General manager Jeff Luhnow
"The Yankees, hat tip to them, they were a great team and great competition. But we're going to the World Series. This one's for the city of Houston."

Pitcher Charlie Morton
"We beat a great team. It's unbelievable. We're looking at a few days of being in L.A., playing another great team. We'll celebrate tonight and then get ready."

Catcher Brian McCann
"They played extremely well at Yankee Stadium and they played us extremely tough the whole seven games. This group of guys, we're as close as they come, and it started from Day One. We've got a great mix of guys that have been around a while, guys that are just getting started and guys that are in the middle that are superstars. It's just been a great all-around season."

Third baseman Alex Bregman
"Yankee Stadium was fun. It was a great atmosphere. They play really well at home, and I think a lot of people kind of counted us out after we lost three there. But we were ready to go when we got back home."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

New York Yankees, Houston Astros