Jose Altuve is on fire. He’s on such a tear that, by one measure, he’s hotter than any hitter in MLB history.
Altuve and the Astros have taken the first two games of a crucial three-game set against the Rangers this week. In the sixth inning of Monday’s game Altuve broke a 4–4 tie with a homer off of Glenn Otto. Then, in the ninth, he added an insurance run with another homer. For an encore on Tuesday, he homered in each of the first three innings. That’s five homers in a span of just seven innings, which, according to OptaSTATS, had never been accomplished before in all of MLB history.
Jose Altuve's 5 homers the last 2 days for the @astros came over a span of 7 innings (from the 6th inning on Monday through the 3rd inning on Tuesday).— OptaSTATS (@OptaSTATS) September 6, 2023
That's the shortest span of team innings for a player to hit 5 home runs in MLB history. pic.twitter.com/qRR2uP5IG2
Even after homering three times in the first three innings on Tuesday, Altuve missed out on becoming the 19th player to hit four home runs in a single game, but he had made history as the first man with five homers in a seven-inning span.
Altuve is getting hot at the right time for the Astros. He was sidelined until mid-May after breaking his thumb in the World Baseball Classic and then missed most of July with an oblique injury. But he’s got a .367/.436/.633 slash line and nine home runs in 36 games since coming off the injured list. Houston has gone 21–17 in that span to take over the division lead.