With the first three-homer game of his career, Altuve joined Carl Reynolds (1930 Chicago White Sox) and Manny Machado (2016 Baltimore Orioles) as the only players ever to go deep in each of the first three innings of a game, per MLB.com.
Altuve, who increased his season total to 15 long balls, has five in the past two days. He went deep twice as the Astros took the series opener against the Rangers 13-6 on Monday, then added three solo shots on Tuesday.
Houston (79-61) earned its seventh win in 10 games, while Texas (76-62) fell for the fifth time in six games.
Martin Maldonado homered twice for the Astros, and Yordan Alvarez added a home run among his three hits. Jeremy Pena contributed three hits and three runs.
Texas starter Nathan Eovaldi (11-4) exited his highly anticipated return after just 1 1/3 innings, having allowed four runs on five hits, including two of Altuve’s homers. He walked one and struck out one. Eovaldi had been out for six weeks due to a right forearm strain.
Framber Valdez (11-9) fired seven innings for Houston, yielding one run on six hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
Houston held a three-run lead before Texas stepped to the plate in the first inning. Altuve led off the game with a home run to left-center field, and singles from Pena and Alvarez followed.
After a groundout and a walk, Jose Abreu’s fielder’s-choice groundout brought Pena across the plate. Chas McCormick’s RBI single made it 3-0.
The second inning brought about an oddly similar turn of events for the Astros at the plate. Altuve connected on yet another solo home run, ending Eovaldi’s night. Pena singled off Dane Dunning, and the bases were loaded for Abreu with two outs. Abreu sent a single up the middle for two RBIs, extending the advantage to 6-0.
Three more runs in the third inning further solidified Houston’s lead. Maldonado sent a two-run homer to left field before Altuve contributed with his third home run of the night.
Texas erased the shutout on Marcus Semien’s fifth-inning RBI single, but a five-run seventh from Houston expanded the lead to double digits. Two-run home runs from both Maldonado and Alvarez made it 14-1, as Houston finished with six homers.
—Field Level Media