Astros plug batting leader Jose Altuve into Sunday’s lineup

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Astros management apparently heard the outcry against their initial decision to hold Jose Altuve out of Sunday’s season finale — against Altuve’s wishes — in order to protect his lead for the batting title …

Here’s the statement released by the Astros about the sudden change-of-heart: “Altuve approached [interim manager Tom Lawless] prior to today’s game and was passionate about playing today. As the best player, he deserves the right to make that decision.” Altuve’s batting average is at .340. Victor Martinez is at .337.

This would be the first batting title in Astros history. Altuve already broke the franchise’s single-season hits record earlier this month, passing Craig Biggio’s previous mark of 210. Altuve has 223 hits and counting.

Bruce Bochy wins 2,000th game as manager

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The Giants handily defeated the Red Sox on Wednesday night, 11-3. The win marked No. 2,000 of manager Bruce Bochy’s storied career, bolstering an already airtight case for the Hall of Fame.

Bochy, 64, is retiring at the end of the season. The skipper began his managerial career in 1995 with the Padres. He led them to the World Series in 1998, but they were swept out of the Fall Classic by the Yankees. Bochy would manage the Padres through 2006, amassing a 951-975 record (.494).

Bochy went to the Giants in 2007, which turned out to be a terrific decision. Bochy’s Giants won the World Series in 2010, ’12, and ’14, beating the Rangers (4-1), Tigers (4-0), and Royals (4-3), respectively. Including Wednesday’s win, Bochy has a 1,049-1,047 (.500) record with the Giants.

There have been only 11 managers in baseball history to win at least 2,000 games as a manager. Connie Mack leads overwhelmingly at 3,731, followed by John McGraw (2,763) and Tony La Russa (2,728). Also in the 2,000-win club are Bobby Cox (2,504), Joe Torre (2,326), Sparky Anderson (2,194), Bucky Harris (2,158), Joe McCarthy (2,125), Walter Alston (2,040), Leo Durocher (2,008), and Bochy.

Next stop, Cooperstown.