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Altuve swinging a hot bat for the Astros

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HOUSTON -- All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve is off to another good start at the plate, entering Saturday hitting .358 with one homer and eight RBIs and riding a five-game hitting streak. He ranked tied for fourth in the Majors with 24 hits and was tied for fourth in the American League with seven multi-hit games.

"He's doing tremendous," manager Bo Porter said. "He's a baseball player. A lot of times people talk about size and stature and this and that, but this guy has an extreme passion to be good and it drives him. He has inner motivation to go along with an extremely gifted ability with hand-eye coordination to put the barrel on the baseball, and he has fun. From a manager's standpoint, it's easy to pencil that guy into the lineup every day because you know you're going to get everything he has."

And Porter has done just that. Altuve has started all 17 of the Astros' games this season as the leadoff hitter, making one start at designated hitter. With the Astros now in the AL, Porter said he can keep Altuve's bat in the lineup if he's getting worn out.

"That's the luxury of the DH, that's the luxury of the American League," he said. "You can pick a day after he's ran the bases a lot and been on his feet, and it could be a day game after a night game when you just pick a day and allow him to come to the park and get off his feet and worry about nothing except just hitting four or five times that day."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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