ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jose Altuve homered in his first three at-bats for the Houston Astros against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night, starting with a pair off Nathan Eovaldi in the All-Star right-hander’s return from the injured list.
Houston’s star second baseman greeted Eovaldi with a leadoff homer, then ended his outing with a one-out homer in the second.
Altuve’s third homer — and 15th of the season — came in the third off Dane Dunning, a starter who came out of the bullpen so the Rangers could get Eovaldi his first start since July 18. Eovaldi had been sidelined by a right forearm strain.
Altuve had homered in four consecutive at-bats going back to Houston’s 13-6 win in the series opener Monday. The run ended with a groundout against Dunning in the fifth.
Altuve homered twice in the series opener, giving him consecutive multi-homer games for the first time in his career.
Altuve is the first Houston player with consecutive multi-homer games since Richard Hidalgo in 2000.
The Astros had back-to-back homers from the No. 9 and leadoff hitters twice in the series opener with Mauricio Dubón and Altuve.
They did it again Wednesday with Martín Maldonado homering from the bottom of the order in the third, followed by Altuve for a 9-0 lead. Houston scored three runs in each of the first three innings.
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