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Altuve: 'My only goal is to play 162 games'

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- If Astros manager Bo Porter ever decides to give Jose Altuve a day off this season, he might have a fight on his hands with the former All-Star.

Altuve said Saturday that one of his goals for 2014 was to play in every game of the season. He started 142 games in 2012, his first full season, and last year played in 152 games, missing three following the death of his grandmother and a handful of others with a left quad injury.

"I'm working on being 100 percent for the season," Altuve said. "My only goal is to play 162 games. The other goals are to go, play, win, simple stuff -- get to the playoffs, get to the World Series this year, next year, whenever we can do it."

Being in the American League helps, as Porter can start Altuve at designed hitter a few times to give him some rest. Still, Porter likes to give his players days off during the season in an effort to keep them fresh.

"If you play hard and you're still healthy, there's no reason why you can't play 162 games," Altuve said.

Of course, the better Altuve plays, the harder it will be for Porter to keep him on the bench. He hit in the cleanup spot in the order Saturday -- he will hit primarily second during the regular season -- and belted a mammoth homer to center field off Michael Wacha.

"I'm the fourth hitter; that's what I'm supposed to do," he joked.

It was Altuve's first Grapefruit League home run, and he said it was his first ever in professional spring ball.

"I remember since the first time I came here in '08, I never hit a homer in Spring Training in Minor Leagues or big leagues," he said. "I'm really happy about that."

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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