ARLINGTON -- Astros manager AJ Hinch said Sunday he expects first baseman Yuli Gurriel to be in the starting lineup for the first time this year Tuesday against the Orioles at Minute Maid Park. Gurriel is serving his five-game suspension that was handed down during the World Series.Hinch said Gurriel
ARLINGTON -- Astros manager AJ Hinch said Sunday he expects first baseman Yuli Gurriel to be in the starting lineup for the first time this year Tuesday against the Orioles at Minute Maid Park. Gurriel is serving his five-game suspension that was handed down during the World Series.
Hinch said Gurriel had another eight or nine at-bats on Sunday morning in West Palm Beach, Fla., where he's recovering from Feb. 28 surgery to remove the hook of the hamate bone in his left hand. It was originally thought Gurriel would have to spend some time on the disabled list following his suspension, but that won't be necessary.
"He continues to pile up some good swings and some good preparation," Hinch said. "He's going to do it again [Monday] and then we'll make a determination. All signs are pointing in a good direction."
Gurriel will face relief pitcher James Hoyt, who's on the DL with a strained left oblique, in a BP session on Monday before heading to Houston. Hoyt is expected to be able to start a rehab assignment Friday for Triple-A Fresno.
The Astros will have to make a roster move after Monday's game to create a spot for Gurriel.
Fifth hit continues to elude Altuve
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve jokingly said he's given up in his pursuit of five hits in a game. Altuve has 25 games with at least four hits -- including Saturday's 9-3 win -- and no five-hit games. Altuve didn't get a chance to bat Saturday after getting his fourth hit, but he's had eight plate appearances in games in which he's already had four hits, according to Elias.
"I've had so many opportunities and I never can get it," he said. "I feel like it's not for me anymore."
The last Astros player to get five hits in game is George Springer on June 10, 2015. Cesar Cedeno has the Astros' record five-hit games with four. The only Astros player to get six hits in a game is Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, who achieved the feat on July 8, 1965.
Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, who is the Astros' all-time hits leader with 3,060, had two five-hit games, including June 28, 2007 -- the day he recorded his 3,000th career hit against Colorado.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.