Astros: Jose Altuve continues to climb the home run ladder

May 31, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) celebrates second baseman Jose Altuve (27) two run home run against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
May 31, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) celebrates second baseman Jose Altuve (27) two run home run against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jose Altuve moves to eighth in franchise history with his 140th home run.

The long ball hasn’t been the most known hit behind the career of Jose Altuve, but the Houston Astros‘ second baseman continues to climb the franchise home run list. With a blooper of 330 ft off the top of the wall in left-field, the right-hander has placed himself solely in eighth place with 140 home runs with the franchise.

Altuve had tied Bob Watson with 139 home runs last week against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Two guys who have graced the number 27, and with Altuve’s resume, there is a good chance no one where will wear it after he departs.

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Yuli Gurriel and Yordan Alvarez are still out of the lineup but continue to practice with the team pre-game. You might wonder why Alvarez hasn’t been placed on the injured list, and while manager Dusty Baker said the team doesn’t want to wait multiple days if he’s ready soon, there aren’t many options on the 40-man roster. Abraham Toro would be the first name to come to mind, but the switch-hitter was recently activated off the 7-day minor-league IL.

Jose Urquidy was dealing off the IL, as the right-hander had a no-hitter through 4.2 innings. Urquidy went past his anticipated pitch limit, but over six innings of work, he allowed one run on three hits and a walk. A fun comparison for Urquidy could be a younger Zack Greinke, while he fanned nine and is still a fan of ground ball outs.

Even with a depleted lineup, the Astros pulled away with a much needed win, 11-2. It’s the end of May, but with talent on the injured list, the offense continues to add run support. The main objective to hone in on is the bullpen getting outs.

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While Blake Taylor and Urquidy returned the roster, Andre Scrubb and Ralph Garza Jr. were optioned in their replacement. Both relievers have shown struggles at different sample sizes, but as we see more injured arms return, familiar names will benefit from these minor-league stints.

The Astros are back on the field on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. against the Boston Red Sox with Luis Garcia hitting the bump. Garret Richards takes the mound for Boston, who currently sits at a 3.83 ERA. In the sights of another starter returning, Baker is projecting Lance McCullers Jr. to be back in mid-June.

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