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Astros' Jose Altuve Sets Franchise Record for Hits Before All-Star Break

Houston Astros' Jose Altuve follows through on a hit against the Texas Rangers in a baseball game, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffJuly 8, 2014

With his 124th hit of the season in Monday's 12-7 win over the Texas Rangers, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve set a new franchise record for most hits by one player before the All-Star break, per CSN Houston's Julia Morales.

The previous record holder was first baseman/left fielder Bob Watson, who recorded 123 hits before the break for the Astros in 1973, according to MLB Stat of the Day on Twitter.

In the midst of an incredible season, Altuve reached 124 hits with five games remaining before the break, leaving plenty of time to pad his record-setting total. While it certainly helps that he has only missed three of his team's 91 contests this season, Altuve has also been excellent on a per-game basis. 

He carries a robust .338/.378/.436 slash line into Tuesday's game against the Rangers, with his .338 batting average ranking first in the American League and second in all of baseball, just 11 points behind the .349 average of Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Adding to his impressive season, Altuve also leads the American League with 39 stolen bases, putting him three behind Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon (42) for the major league lead. Gordon has been caught stealing nine times, while Altuve has incredibly been thrown out just three times.

Always a good contact hitter, Altuve has taken his game to the next level this season by shrinking his strikeout rate to a microscopic 6.6 percent, best in the majors among all qualified players, according to FanGraphs.

On pace to finish the year with 221 hits, Altuve is primed to record just the second 200-hit season in Astros history, with the feat previously accomplished by Craig Biggio in 1998, per MLB.com.

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