PITTSBURGH -- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was in the starting lineup for Saturday's game against the Pirates, marking his first action since Monday's game in Detroit. Altuve was activated from the bereavement list, with infielder Jake Elmore getting optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Altuve traveled to his native Venezuela to attend the funeral of his grandmother and arrived in the Steel City on Friday night at about 8:30 ET. He watched the game from the team hotel.
"I feel really good about the way they treated me when I came back," Altuve said of his teammates. "I wanted to come back strong and help my team in every way I can."
Altuve said he appreciated the way his teammates reached out to him during a difficult time and thanked manager Bo Porter for allowing him to travel home.
"It's not easy, but they texted me and called and told me they're here for me, and I'm really happy about that," Altuve said. "It's good to be back with their support. Now I'm going to focus on playing baseball and trying to win some games."
Porter was definitely happy to write Altuve's name in the lineup card. He is among the American League leaders with 51 hits entering Saturday.
"It's good to have him back and I'm glad he was able to get back there with his family," Porter said. "He said, 'Skipper, thank you so much for allowing me to go,' and I told him, 'Any time.' Family comes first and we need you to go there and be with your family. He's excited to be back and be around his teammates."
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.