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Altuve, Castro flipped in Astros' lineup

HOUSTON -- As promised, manager Bo Porter had catcher Jason Castro hitting third and second baseman Jose Altuve hitting fourth on Wednesday against the Yankees. It was only the third time in Altuve's career -- the other two came in his rookie season, in 2011 -- that he's batted cleanup.

With Dexter Fowler entrenched in the leadoff spot and Robbie Grossman batting second, Porter is flip-flopping Castro and Altuve based on matchups -- Castro (left-handed bat) hitting third against right-handers, and Altuve (right-handed bat) hitting third against lefties.

"Obviously, Altuve and Castro are arguably our two best hitters, and having Fowler and Grossman at the top, those two guys are switch-hitters who can get on base," Porter said. "When you hit Castro third and a right-hander is pitching, you're basically making sure the left-hander gets the extra at-bat given the matchup scenario.

"When it's a left-hander pitching, you put Altuve in the three-hole to make sure the right-hander gets the extra at-bat given the matchup scenario."

The rest of the lineup will also depend on matchups, for the most part, though third baseman Matt Dominguez hit seventh and shortstop Jonathan Villar has batted ninth in each of the first two games. Designated hitter Chris Carter hit sixth against lefty CC Sabathia on Tuesday and fifth against right-hander Hiroki Kuroda on Wednesday.

Brian McTaggart is reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
Read More: Houston Astros, Jose Altuve