Altuve returns to lineup after sitting with sore neck

Altuve returns to lineup after sitting with sore neck

HOUSTON -- All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve returned to the Astros lineup Sunday, batting second behind Robbie Grossman. Altuve sat out Saturday's game after he was removed in the fifth inning Friday with what was described as neck discomfort.

"I think he's close enough," manager Bo Porter said. "Altuve wants to play and when the trainers said it's OK, he's going to be in the lineup. Yesterday he came back and was better than he was when it first happened, but for precautionary reasons we felt like we'll give him an extra day. Today he is much better than he was yesterday."

Even sitting out one game, Altuve moved back into the lead in the American League batting race, hitting .333 entering Sunday despite an 0-for-9 slump. He also leads the Majors in hits (158) and multi-hit games (48) and leads the AL in stolen bases with 45.

Altuve was hitting second Sunday for the first time since June 26, when lead-off hitter Dexter Fowler got injured. He had batted leadoff in the 37 games prior to Saturday when he sat out.

"It really doesn't matter where the guys hits," Porter said. "He's going to hit."

Brian McTaggart is reporter for 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.