HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve started Saturday's game against the A's as the designated hitter for the first time in his Major League career. He continued to bat in the leadoff spot and went 1-for-4.
Altuve played 57 games with the Astros in 2011 after being called up from Double-A Corpus Christi and 147 games last year without ever serving as a designated hitter, primarily due to the fact that the Astros played in the National League.
Marwin Gonzalez, who went 0-for-3 and is hitting .300, moved over from shortstop to start at second base with Ronny Cedeno playing short. Gonzalez broke up Yu Darvish's near perfect game Tuesday night with a two-out single in the ninth inning.
"It's more about Gonzalez played well and we have a night game with a day game tomorrow," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "I was going to pick one of those days anyway [to give Altuve a break in the field] and today just made more sense."
Altuve leads the Astros with a .400 batting average.
"[Gonzalez] has been great defensively his whole career," Porter said. "That why we took him in the Rule 5 Draft last year. He's a plus-defender. He can play all three infield positions --shortstop, second base, third base. And he's been swinging the bat well."
Gonzalez and Cedeno had made two starts each this season at shortstop.