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Jose Altuve, in a humble nod to baseball posterity, now has a game-used ball from his Triple-A debut for his trophy case.

Altuve, who left Sunday’s game after being hit by a pitch on the elbow in the seventh inning, had laced a single to right field an inning earlier in the Fresno Grizzlies’ 6-4 loss to the host Tacoma Rainiers for his first career Triple-A hit.

The star second baseman kept the ball, according an to MLB.com report, telling the website’s Houston Astros beat reporter: “I got two first hits this year — All-Star and Triple-A. I’m really proud.”

Altuve jumped straight from Double-A Corpus Christi to the Astros in 2011.

The reigning American League MVP was set to return for the Astros on Tuesday at Seattle, according to MLB.com. Altuve hasn’t played since July 25, having been on the DL since July 29 with a right knee injury.

Altuve, 28, is batting .329 with nine home runs and 46 RBIs this season. The defending World Series champion Astros have struggled in his absence, going 8-12.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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