Wheels come off for Altuve, falls shy of cycle

Astros second baseman settles for 4-hit night in win over Royals

June 25th, 2016

KANSAS CITY -- There was no doubt. Jose Altuve was going for a triple. That's all that stood between him and the cycle when he came to bat in the sixth inning in the Astros' 13-5 win on Saturday night, and he told his teammates he was going to try for third if he hit a ball in the gap.

Lo and behold, Altuve walloped a pitch into the left-center-field gap and was charging into second when his helmet flew off, clipped the back of his left heel, causing him to fall and tumble on the base and settle for a double. Altuve smiled as he lay on the ground, and his teammates were falling over the dugout in laughter.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Altuve and other #ASGWorthy players

Altuve (4-for-5) settled for a three-run homer, two doubles and a single to lead the Astros to their seventh consecutive win and second straight over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

"Yeah, I mean, everybody in the dugout was, 'If you hit the ball in the gap, you've got to go to third,'" Altuve said. "I hit it and I couldn't believe I hit it and I was like, 'Wow, now what?' I started running hard and I don't know what happened. I think I have to blame it on the helmet. The helmet fell down and hit my foot."

Gif: Altuve runs so fast he wipes out turning 2nd base

Altuve said he saw the folly replayed on social media after the game under the headline: "Altuve blew a tire."

"You have to laugh about it," he said. "I know they're going to be talking about that for the next few days."

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa was cheering on Altuve when the hit the ball.

"I was in the on deck circle and I was like, 'Go, go go!'" he said. "He tripped and wasn't able to get it, so obviously we had to make fun of him. It was pretty funny the way the helmet hit his feet and then he just collapsed. It was funny, but obviously he had a great game. It feels like every day he has a great game. It's fun to watch."

Altuve, who leads American League second basemen on the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, has reached base in 28 consecutive games, which is the longest active streak in the Majors and longest of his career. He's hitting .348 with 13 homers and 44 RBIs.

"I'm really pleased with the way the guys are playing," Altuve said. "I've said it before, this is a really good team. We have a little bit of everything -- good offense, good defense. The guys are hitting the ball really good. This is the team we are and we're going to try to be consistent and see what happens in the second half."

So the big question was ... would Altuve have made it to third base had he not tripped to become the first Astros player to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes in 2013?

"That's the big question," Altuve said. "I've been asked that a lot of times today after I hit that double. I don't really know. I was running hard to try to get it. Obviously, I ended up in the dirt."