KANSAS CITY -- Rookie outfielder George Springer stole the headlines last series, and deservedly so, with three home runs in the final two games. But Jose Altuve continued his torrid pace at the plate this season as well.
The Astros' diminutive second baseman recorded at least two hits in all four games against the Mariners, and finished the series 9-for-16 at the plate.
"Altuve's been playing the best baseball of his career," Astros manager Bo Porter said.
With his nine hits in Seattle, Altuve entered Monday's game in Kansas City atop the MLB leaderboard with 70.
Porter alluded to a few changes in Altuve's work ethic this offseason -- including losing 10 pounds, and improved attention to detail with pregame preparation, film study and scouting reports -- that has led to the early offensive barrage.
From last season to this one, through Sunday, Altuve had upped his batting average 43 points, his on-base percentage 50 points, and his slugging percentage 84 points. He also was leading the American League in stolen bases with 17.
"You look and you just go, 'Wow.' It's good to see a guy rewarded for the type of commitment that he's made to his career," Porter said. "He's been a great teammate and just doing everything we can ask of our All-Star second baseman."
Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.