Entering the top of the sixth inning of Saturday’s game against the Royals, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve already had a single, double, and a home run, leaving him just a triple shy of the cycle. With an 0-2 count against Chien-Ming Wang, Altuve hit the ball exactly where he needed to: in the gap in left-center.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain and left fielder Alex Gordon converged, and it was Cain who came up with the ball. It looked like a sure-fire triple, but there was just one problem: Altuve tripped as he prepared to round the second base bag. The three-time All-Star settled for another double, but he was guaranteed at least one more at-bat before the end of the game. Altuve, however, grounded out in the eighth inning, finishing 4-for-5 and a triple shy of the cycle. He would have been the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013.
To Altuve’s credit, he laughed about it, as did many of his teammates.
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Altuve is batting an outstanding .348/.427/.567 with 13 home runs, 44 RBI, 54 runs scored, and 18 stolen bases on the year.