HOUSTON -- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve continues to progress from the bruised hand he suffered when he was hit by a pitch Thursday, but manager Bo Porter held him out of the lineup for the third consecutive game Sunday to give him four full days off.
With the Astros scheduled to be off Monday, Porter is hopeful Altuve can return to the lineup for Tuesday's series opener against the Nationals in Washington. Altuve did some throwing and hitting prior to Sunday's game.
"All indications are he's much improved," Porter said. "With the off-day tomorrow and him improving the way he's improving, we kind of felt like if we could keep him out of today's game and get the off-day tomorrow, by Tuesday he should be as 100 percent as possible."
Despite missing so much time, Altuve entered Sunday still leading the Major Leagues with 90 hits, just ahead of Melky Cabrera and Alex Rios, both of whom had 86. He was hit on the right hand by a pitch Thursday, but X-rays were negative.
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.