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Altuve's impressive campaign reaches new heights

Majors' hits leader, batting average leader goes 4-for-5, belts his first slam

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BOSTON -- Jose Altuve's remarkable season took center stage Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.

Altuve, the Astros' 5-foot-6 second baseman and two-time All-Star, tied a career high with four hits (4-for-5), including his first career grand slam that capped a six-run outburst in the second inning and sent the Astros on their way to an 8-1 win over the Red Sox.

Altuve became the first Astros player to collect a grand slam and four hits in a game since Jeff Bagwell on April 9, 2004 at Milwaukee. He leads the Major Leagues in hits (173), batting average (.339) and multi-hit games (53) and is six weeks away from becoming the Astros' first batting champion.

"I just try to stay away from that and not think too much and do my game," Altuve said. "If I get hits, I get hits. If I get on base, I get on base. I want to score runs for my team, and as long as we're winning, we're going to be OK."

Altuve is also on pace to shatter Craig Biggio's club record of 210 hits, set in 1998. In fact, Biggio is the only Astros player to reach 200 hits, and Altuve is closing in fast. He needs 27 hits in the team's final 37 games to get 200. If he averages a hit a game in the final six weeks, he'll tie Biggio.

"There's no surprise to us," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "You grow accustomed to feeling like if you don't get two hits, something is wrong. But he's having a great year and we just stand on top of him, telling him, 'Finish strong, finish strong, finish strong.' He's in a great position to do a couple of things extremely special."

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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