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Altuve adds a milestone to his resume

Slugger connects off Yanks' Loaisiga for 100th home run
@RichardJustice
April 10, 2019

HOUSTON -- He’ll have plenty of other milestones. In that way, this one was simply another brick in the Hall of Fame career he’s methodically constructing. On the other hand, this one was nice, too. José Altuve became just the 16th player in Astros history to hit 100 career home

HOUSTON -- He’ll have plenty of other milestones. In that way, this one was simply another brick in the Hall of Fame career he’s methodically constructing. On the other hand, this one was nice, too.

José Altuve became just the 16th player in Astros history to hit 100 career home runs on Tuesday. He got it with a towering drive off a 96-mph fastball thrown by Yankees rookie Jonathan Loaisiga in the bottom of the third inning to break a 1-1 tie and give the Astros a 2-1 lead. The Astros went on to win, 6-3, extending their winning streak to five games.

No. 100 was clocked at 102 mph and tracked an estimated 301 feet by Statcast. It doesn’t compare to the monstrous homer he hit against the Yankees on Monday. That one was 109.1 mph, the second-hardest hit of his career.

"I never thought I was going to hit 100 homers in the big leagues,” Altuve said. "Seems like a dream come true. I’m happy when the team won such a great game as that."

After a season in which a knee injury limited both his production and enjoyment, Altuve began this season determined to re-prove the greatness that has been the signature of a nine-year career.

"It’s special," George Springer said. "For a guy who has gone through so much and has been doubted, I’m extremely honored to be here for it."

When you're the 2017 American League Most Valuable Player with three AL batting titles, milestones begin to roll up at some point. However, this one was special enough that Altuve had the baseball retrieved for safekeeping.

"I’ve watched a lot of 'em,” manager AJ Hinch said, "and I think over the last couple of years, he’s become an even better hitter as he’s maturing. That’s scary to say. He’s led the league in hits. Things are good."

Altuve said playing through a knee injury that required offseason surgery has given him renewed joy at simply being healthy and able to do the thing he loves to do.

"Absolutely," he said. "To be able to play pain-free like I used to feel before my knee surgery, I’m just happy."

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.