Altuve grounded out twice and alarmed Hinch by the way he was moving during his second at-bat. He was pulled shortly after. Hinch was concerned about the way Altuve moved in the field and on the bases Tuesday in Houston, and he didn't want to take any chances on Wednesday.
Altuve originally strained the hamstring Friday and missed three games.
"He didn't look great yesterday, he didn't look great today," Hinch said. "I didn't want to see anymore. We've got to be so cautious with him, especially here at the high altitude. I don't think he felt great, and I had seen enough and wanted to get him out of the game. I want to err on the side of caution with him."
Hinch told Altuve prior to Wednesday's game that he wouldn't play Thursday, so the aggravation of the injury didn't affect the decision to keep him out of the lineup again.
"No, I didn't make it worse," Altuve said. "I didn't reinjure it. [Hinch] didn't like what he saw. He wanted me to be out there when I'm 100 percent and that's good."
Hinch said the Astros aren't ready to put Altuve on the disabled list, even though with him out of the lineup they don't have any extra middle infielders.
"It's difficult because I think he feels OK," Hinch said. "The strength tests are coming back very good. He feels good. I just think he feels there's a little bit of tentativeness in there, and he's getting some real difficult treatment just in terms of physical therapy.
"We're not ready to give away two weeks just yet, but we're going to be very cautious."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.