Altuve hopeful after exiting with knee discomfort
Second baseman hopes to play this weekend; 'Not a big deal,' he says
DENVER -- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve hopes to play this weekend against the Rangers after leaving Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Rockies in the fifth inning with right knee soreness.
"I think it's not a big deal, but I think it was smart for [manager] AJ [Hinch] taking me out of the game," Altuve said. "With a day off [Thursday], maybe that can help me a lot and be good by Friday or Saturday."
Altuve hit an RBI double to right field in the fourth and later scored the Astros' second run of the inning. The six-time All-Star and reigning American League Most Valuable Player Award winner was replaced defensively to start the bottom of the fifth after Hinch saw him limping.
"We've seen enough," Hinch said. "He could have played through it. He fought to stay in the game, but we felt it was best to take him out and give him a little bit of a blow, just given he was limping."
Altuve is hitting .279 (29-for-104) since June 22, but leads the Major Leagues with 134 hits and is second in batting average at .329. He also leads the Majors in road batting average.
Altuve said he jammed his knee into a base while sliding several days ago and has been bothered by it since.
"A few games ago, I got a close play at third and I slid, and that's where everything starts," Altuve said. "I don't think it's getting worse, but it's not getting better, so I think that's why they said take [Thursday] off and see how we feel on Friday."
The Astros have been without shortstop Carlos Correa for a month because of back soreness. Hinch said Wednesday that Correa hit aggressively off a tee in Houston and is making progress.