ARLINGTON -- Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve was out of the starting lineup Tuesday against the Rangers after leaving Monday's series opener in the seventh inning with a left forearm bruise from being hit by a pitch. He could return to the lineup Wednesday, manager A.J. Hinch said.
"He's sore from getting hit by a 95-mph fastball, but he's fine," Hinch said. "I knew he was going to sit a day or two here on this road trip, and it happened to be convenient he gets hit and is not going to play. He's fine. He's obviously is dealing with some soreness, as anyone would that gets hit."
Altuve is sitting on 199 hits, leaving him one shy of reaching 200 for the fourth year in a row. With the start of the postseason a week away, Hinch isn't compelled to rush Altuve back to the lineup.
"If he feels a ton of soreness, no I'm not going to play him," he said. "If not, I'll get him back in there."
Altuve is trying to become the fifth player since integration (1947) with at least four consecutive 200-hit seasons, joining Ichiro Suzuki (2001-10), Michael Young (2003-07), Wade Boggs (1983-89) and Kirby Puckett (1986-89). Only three right-handed hitters have had 200 hits at least four years in a row: Al Simmons (1929-33), Puckett and Young.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.