HOUSTON -- Astros manager Bo Porter had outfielder Fernando Martinez hitting second in the batting order Monday for the second game in a row, moving Justin Maxwell -- who had hit second in the 12 games prior to Sunday -- down in the order. He batted seventh Monday.
Porter said he likes to have a left-handed bat in the No. 2 spot against right-handed pitchers. That's because Jose Altuve has been getting on base at such a high clip (.425), and a left-handed stick has a huge hole on the right side of the infield when Altuve is being held on first base.
"Then you have an opportunity to have a lefty who has an opportunity to hook that hole, so you can go from first to third more," he said. "And we're getting Justin into position -- he can drive in runs. That's more so against right-handed pitchers than it would be against left-handed pitchers."
The two spot fits Martinez well because he pulls the ball and is a good fastball hitter. He began the year on the disabled list, but homered on his first swing of the season Sunday, shooting an opposite-field jack into the Crawford Boxes.
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.