HOUSTON — It’s October, and George Springer, 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 where they left off, hitting four home runs to power past the Cleveland Indians 7-2 on 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 that 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.”

George Springer of the Astros celebrates his solo home run with teammate Tony Kemp during the fifth inning of the opener of their AL Division Series against Cleveland on Friday in Houston. It was one of four Astros homers in the 7-2 win. Associated Press/David J. Phillip

Houston’s pop supported 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 51/3 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 42/3 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.

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, 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 playoff 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.