The Houston Astros took care of business against the Texas Rangers at home on Sunday, winning by a final score of 5-2. Houston continues to play a quality brand of baseball and now holds a record of 27-15 which is good for first place in the AL West. A major reason for their recent surge is the play of Jose Altuve.
The veteran second baseman has 8 home runs so far in the month of May alone. His production from the top of the batting order has been a talking point for the Astros. Altuve smashed his 5th leadoff home run of the season in Sunday's victory.
Astros manager Dusty Baker commented on what Altuve's top of the lineup impact is on the club.
“He’s our igniter. He starts our engine.”
Jose Altuve has spent his entire 12-year career in Houston. He has hit at or near the top of the lineup for the most part during that span. Altuve undoubtedly feels comfortable playing the role of “igniter” for the team.
His ability to slap the ball all over the yard to go along with his power makes him one of the most dangerous leadoff hitters in all of baseball. Anytime you have a guy who can get on base and come around to score, it can work wonders for a team's performance. But having someone who can make it 1-0 to leadoff a ball game with one swing of the bat provides a tremendous advantage.
Dusty Baker is correct by saying Jose Altuve “starts the engine” for the Astros.