Astros second baseman Jose Altuve went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI single in Sunday’s regular season finale, a loss in New York to the Mets. Altuve ends the season with a .341 average, six points ahead of Victor Martinez in second place, to win the AL batting title. Martinez went 0-for-3 in the Tigers’ AL Central-clinching 3-0 win against the Twins. Altuve, the first batting champion from the Astros, also tied for the second-most steals in baseball with Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton at 56.
On the National League side of things, Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau did not start for a second consecutive game but won the batting title anyway. His competition, Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison, went 0-for-4 in the Pirates’ 4-1 loss to the Reds. Harrison’s average dropped to .315, four points behind Morneau. Morneau’s .319 average is the lowest for a batting champion since Terry Pendleton hit the same in 1991.
The Yankees threatened early against the Twins in the top of the first inning of Monday night’s game in Minnesota. DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge drew leadoff walks Martín Pérez, bringing up slugger Edwin Encarnación. Encarnación battled Pérez, ultimately rolling over on the ninth pitch, a change-up. Third baseman Luis Arraez gobbled it up and stepped on the third base bag, then fired to Jonathan Schoop at second base for the second out. Schoop got the ball over to Miguel Sanó at first base just in time to complete the 5-4-3 triple play.
It’s the second triple play turned this year, as the White Sox also accomplished a 5-4-3 double play on May 22 against the Astros. The Twins’ last triple play occurred on June 1, 2017 against the Angels, also a 5-4-3 triple-killing.
The Yankees were eventually able to generate some offense in the third inning on a Gio Urshela solo homer and an RBI single from Encarnación. It’s a 2-2 game as this gets published.