Jose Altuve hits three home runs as Astros clobber Rangers

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve tied an MLB record with five home runs over his last two games. File Photo by Kevin M. Cox/UPI
1 of 5 | Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve tied an MLB record with five home runs over his last two games. File Photo by Kevin M. Cox/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Jose Altuve reached nearly a quarter-mile's worth of home run distance through his first three at-bats, continuing a hot streak and leading the Houston Astros to blow out the Texas Rangers.

The star infielder clobbered home runs of 406, 398 and 426 feet in the 14-1 win Tuesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. He tied the MLB record for home runs (five) in a two-game span with his performance in the second game of the series.


"It's obviously amazing," Altuve told reporters. "It's a good feeling, especially in the situation we are in, trying to get first place and win the division."

Altuve went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and three runs scored. He started his slugfest in the first at-bat of the game.


Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi missed the strike zone with his first three pitches in the leadoff matchup. He then tossed a corner-painting strike.

Altuve smacked the next pitch -- a 95.1-mph fastball -- to left field for a 108-mph solo homer. The Astros added two more runs in the inning on a fielder's choice and RBI single.

Altuve returned to the plate for the second at-bat of the second. Eovaldi once again missed the strike zone with his first three pitches. Altuve fouled off the next offering. Eovaldi then tossed a slider over the middle of the plate. That pitch proved to be his final offering of the night.

Altuve hit the ball to left field for his second homer, giving the Astros a 4-0 edge. First baseman Jose Abreu plated shortstop Jeremy Pena and third baseman Alex Bregman later in the inning with a two-run single.

The Astros scored another trio of runs in the third. Catcher Martin Maldonado hit a two-run homer in the second at-bat of the inning. Altuve then settled in against relief pitcher Dane Dunning. He hit his second offering to dead center field, giving the Astros a 9-0 lead.


Second baseman Marcus Semien finally put the Rangers on the board with an RBI single in the fifth.

The Astros answered with five runs in the seventh. Center fielder Mauricio Dubon started that outburst with an RBI double in the third at-bat of the inning. Maldonado hit a two-run homer in the next at-bat for a 12-1 Astros lead.

Designated hitter Yordan Alvarez hit another two-run shot three at-bats later to provide the final runs.

Maldonado went 2 for 5 with four RBIs, two runs scored and three strikeouts in the victory. Alvarez went 3 for 6 with two RBIs and a run scored.

Abreu went 1 for 4 with three RBIs. Astros starter Framber Valdez allowed six hits and one run over seven innings to improve to 11-9 this season. Eovaldi surrendered five hits and four runs in 1 1/3 innings to drop to 11-4.

Altuve is now hitting .321 with 15 home runs, 39 RBIs and 13 stolen bases through 68 games this season. The eight-time All-Star and former MVP, who missed the first 60 games this season because of injuries, went 7 for 11 (.636) with five homers and five RBIs over his last two appearances.


Altuve recorded a .253 average in June (20 games), but hit .354 in August (27 games) and .300 in July (eight games).

The Astros (79-61), who sit in first place in the American League West, will face the third-place Rangers (76-62) in the series finale at 8:05 p.m. EDT Wednesday in Arlington.

The Astros hold a one-game lead on the second place Seattle Mariners (77-61). The Mariners will host the Astros for a three-game series Sept. 25 to 27 in Seattle.

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