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Altuve brings power to playoffs again for Astros

@castrovince
October 8, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Astros were looking to party on Monday afternoon, and José Altuve brought the appetizers. Alas, his first-inning solo homer off Charlie Morton in Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field, despite putting his club on the board first, was quickly overwhelmed by

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Astros were looking to party on Monday afternoon, and José Altuve brought the appetizers. Alas, his first-inning solo homer off Charlie Morton in Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field, despite putting his club on the board first, was quickly overwhelmed by the homer party the Rays put together against Zack Greinke in Houston’s 10-3 defeat, forcing a Game 4.

“Sometimes that happens, that’s baseball,” Altuve said with a shrug. “You score and don’t win the game, but tomorrow’s another game and it’s going to be big for us.”

Altuve did, however, make some homer history in the loss. His second homer of the Division Series (he also broke a scoreless tie by going deep in the fifth inning of Game 1 on Friday) was the 10th homer of his postseason career. That ties Chase Utley for the most by a second baseman in the postseason.

Utley did it in 210 at-bats across 68 games. Altuve did it in his 141st postseason at-bat and 35th game.

“I was trying to put a good swing on the ball, and I was trying to get on base,” Altuve said of his 423-foot poke to center field. “I hit the ball pretty good.”

Furthermore, Altuve is now one homer shy of teammate George Springer’s franchise record for postseason homers. Monday’s game marked the first time the Astros lost a postseason game in which Altuve homered. They had been 7-0 previously.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.