AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Jose Altuve is making his case to be known as the best player in baseball on the biggest stage of his career.
After he’d already put together an MVP-worthy season, on Thursday, Altuve stepped to the plate in just the second postseason of his career and hit not one, not two, but three home runs to lead the Houston Astros over the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS.
Altuve got started early. After third baseman Alex Bregman homered in the first inning, Altuve made it back-to-back home runs for the home team, taking Red Sox ace Chris Sale deep to left center.
From there, Altuve would only continue his hot night at the plate. He’d add another homer off of Sale in the fifth inning, giving the Astros a 5-2 cushion. At his next at-bat in the seventh, he’d go yard again, this time off of Red Sox reliever Austin Maddox.
Altuve’s astounding night is just the 10th time in baseball history a player has hit three home runs in a postseason game, putting him in the company of Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols.
After his third home run left the yard, Altuve took a well deserved curtain call, taking in the praise of the Houston fans. The moment also helped create one of the best photos of the night, taken by Brett Coomer of the Houston Chronicle.
Listed at just 5-foot-6 and 165 pounds, Jose Altuve is not what you imagine when you think of a big league slugger. But man, that kid can hit.
The Astros would go on to win the game 8-2, and face off against the Red Sox in Game 2 on Friday afternoon in Houston.