Altuve back in Astros' lineup for 1st time in over a month
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Second baseman Jose Altuve is back with the Houston Astros after a lengthy stint on the injured list with a strained hamstring, the team announced Wednesday.

He will hit third in the Astros' lineup against the Cincinnati Reds.

Altuve has been out since May 10 when he was removed from a game against the Texas Rangers. The six-time All-Star was subsequently diagnosed with a hamstring strain. In late May, he suffered a small setback when he was pulled from a rehab game due to a sore right knee - the same one he had surgically repaired.

The return of the 29-year-old gives the team a huge boost offensively with the likes of George Springer (strained left hamstring) and Carlos Correa (rib fracture) still on the IL. The AL West-leading Astros went 24-11 without Altuve's services.

"It's been forever, but at the same time, it's helped me a lot that the guys have been playing so good and winning a lot of games," Altuve said, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. "It makes me feel better about not playing."

Astors manager A.J. Hinch acknowledged the star infielder finally looks ready to go.

"His swing is feeling better, his actions are a little bit better," Hinch said. "From a fundamental standpoint in the swing, he's grounded a little more into his legs, which is a good thing. He's stronger - all things we wanted while he was on the IL."

Altuve - the 2017 AL MVP - is a career .314 hitter who has won three batting titles over his nine-year career with Houston.

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Altuve back in Astros' lineup for 1st time in over a month
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