CLEVELAND -- For Jose Altuve, dry spells can only last so long. After the reigning American League Most Valuable Player went hitless in 12 straight plate appearances starting on Wednesday, Altuve collected hits in 10 consecutive at-bats.Bidding for No. 11 on Sunday, Altuve was robbed by a slick diving catch
CLEVELAND -- For Jose Altuve, dry spells can only last so long. After the reigning American League Most Valuable Player went hitless in 12 straight plate appearances starting on Wednesday, Altuve collected hits in 10 consecutive at-bats.
Bidding for No. 11 on Sunday, Altuve was robbed by a slick diving catch by Rajai Davis in left-center field to end the top of the ninth during the Astros' 10-9, 14-inning loss to the Indians.
With the 10-hit streak, Altuve broke his own club record of eight, set from June 23-24, 2017. The MLB record is held by Walt Dropo, who had 12 consecutive hits for the Tigers over the span of three games on July 14-15, 1952.
"You don't think about hits, you're not counting hits -- you're trying to win games," Altuve said. "I guess after two games, my teammates say, 'Oh, you got 10 hits.' You're like, 'OK, that's fun.' But in the middle of the game it's hard to think about, 'Oh I got 1, 2, 3, 4 ... "
Altuve singled in the first inning of Sunday's series finale against the Indians and followed it up with an infield single in the fourth inning. He then notched his ninth straight hit on an RBI double to the gap in the sixth inning, bringing the Astros to within a run at 3-2.
Altuve then tied the game at 3 with an RBI single in the eighth inning. His 10 straight hits were the longest in MLB since 2012, when Andre Ethier had a hit in 10 straight plate appearances.
"He's the MVP of the league; it's not a surprise," manager AJ Hinch said. "He does have a way of putting the barrel on the ball. When he's hot like this, there's not a guy in the league that can get him out."
Altuve's hot streak began on Friday, when his RBI double in the eighth inning tied the game and keyed a four-run rally. He doubled again in the ninth inning and came around to score the first of seven runs in the Astros' 11-2 win.
Saturday's game was more of the same, as Altuve went a perfect 4-for-4 and fell a double short of the cycle. He singled in the first, homered in the third inning, singled again in the fifth and tripled in the seventh. Unfortunately, he didn't get a chance to complete the cycle as he stood in the on deck circle during the final out.
Ben Weinrib is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cleveland.