MINNEAPOLIS -- We've reached the point in the greatness of José Altuve where words don't do much justice any more. Altuve is growing weary of talking about himself, his teammates are running out of adjectives and Astros manager A.J. Hinch on Thursday jokingly told reporters they should "cut and paste" his quotes about Altuve from the day before.
Those around him might be running low on words, but the numbers speak volumes. Altuve banged out four more hits in a 15-7 win over the Twins in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader at Target Field to give him two consecutive four-hit games for the first time in his career.
In raising his batting average to .366 by going 4-for-5, he reached base in his 40th consecutive road game and is hitting .438 on the road, including a mind-boggling .503 since May 1 (39 games). Seven of his eight four-hit games this year have come on the road.
"He's the best hitter in the league," Hinch said. "Period."
Altuve, who sat out Monday's loss to the Twins to end his streak of 202 consecutive games played, went 4-for-4 on Tuesday. In the first game Thursday, he doubled and scored in the first, had an RBI single in the second, an RBI single in the fifth and a leadoff single in the seventh. He's still waiting for his first career five-hit game after a four-pitch walk in the ninth.
"I'm trying to hit the ball and it seems like I'm hitting the ball and there's nobody there," he said. "I feel great because I feel like I'm doing something for my team."
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa has the best seat in the house. He hits behind Altuve and says when Altuve comes to the plate with two outs, he prepares himself to hit because he knows Altuve is going to get on base and keep the inning alive.
"I learn a lot from him when I'm on deck," Correa said. "I watch his approach, the pitch that he swings it. He always seems to swing at the pitches that are in the zone, almost middle, and he doesn't miss them. That's the key to it. When you get your pitch to hit, hit it hard somewhere, and that's what he does best."
Astros pitcher Doug Fister joked that Altuve is as good as the ultimate player you could create on a video game.
"We call him the create-a-player," he said. "He's like a video game. He just continues to amaze and works hard. He earns that. It's not something that comes easy for him, or is just a given. He's going out there and battling and fighting and putting time in the cage and is really prepared."