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.

Angels release Matt Harvey

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Among several transactions made on Sunday, the Angels announced that pitcher Matt Harvey has been released. The right-hander was designated for assignment on Friday.

Harvey, 30, was hoping to bounce back with the Angels after signing a one-year, $11 million contract in December. It didn’t work out. In 12 starts spanning 59 2/3 innings, Harvey allowed 47 earned runs on 63 hits and 29 walks with 39 strikeouts. Harvey missed time between May 24 and July 12 with an upper back injury.

Since his 2015 campaign with the Mets, after recovering from Tommy John surgery, Harvey has a 5.65 ERA in exactly 400 innings. Given his age, he could still find an opportunity with another team short on pitching depth, but he is running out of leash, as they say.