Altuve finds his groove at the plate

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After starting the season 4-for-25 with eight strikeouts, the reigning American League batting champion is 7-for-15 in his past four games, with only one strikeout. He has multiple hits in three of his last four games to increase his season batting average to .275.

“I feel good,” Altuve said. “I feel better every game that I play. It’s normal at this time of year that you feel better and better after you play and play. It seems like everybody is the same way. Carlos Beltran is doing the same thing. [Carlos] Correa, [Josh] Reddick, every single guy. [George] Springer is Springer, and he’s going to swing the bat really good and hit homers. We’ve got a great team and I love the way we play.”

Altuve, Reddick, Correa, Beltran and Alex Bregman combined to go 11-for-20 with seven runs scored, two doubles, seven RBIs and four walks.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch’s faith in his All-Star second baseman never wavered.

“I don’t know if he was ever out of form, other than he wasn’t getting the number of hits,” he said. “He continued to be good. He’s such a good player and we expect so much out of him. I know he needed it mentally to feel like Jose Altuve again.

“I think there was a two-week stretch last year in May where he went 3-for-30 or something like that. It’s going to happen. It may happen again. It’s such a rarity to start the year that way for him, but every day he shows up he’s going to get hits in some way.”

Altuve also continues to hit the ball to right field. He had opposite-field singles in the first and seventh innings. He beat out an infield single in the fifth and also walked twice, including an intentional walk in the eighth. He scored three runs.

When he asked if he was trying to go the other way more, Altuve shrugged.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I just swing the bat and [makes clicking sound with mouth].”

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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