PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Like any good magician, Jose Altuve isn't sharing his secrets.
Once again turning his bat into a wand of sorts, Altuve had four hits for the second consecutive game, extending his hitting streak to 16 games as the Houston Astros routed the Philadelphia Phillies 13-4.
Altuve had two singles, two doubles and three RBIs to lead a potent Astros offense that rapped out 18 hits, eight for extra bases.
The four hits for Altuve matched a career high, which he tied Sunday at Baltimore. It was the 24th time he has had four hits in a game.
The All-Star second baseman has been on another level during his streak, hitting .528 (38 for 72). He has collected at least three hits in eight of those 16 games.
In the process, he has increased his major league-leading to .365. He is hitting .507 for the month of July.
How is he doing it? He isn't saying.
"I can't tell you because the other guys are probably going to see this interview and pitch me different," he joked after the game. "I'm just trying to stay with my approach and trying to get on base for the guys hitting behind me. This is a really good team that goes out and plays 100 percent every game."
Make that every inning. Or even every at-bat. The effort shows — at 66-33, the AL West leaders have the best record in their league by far.
Alex Bregman homered and doubled twice for Houston. Brian McCann also homered.
"This is as good a team as we've seen," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "They go up there to do damage. They look like they're ready to hit every pitch. They're not taking pitches to get a look at the pitcher. If you make a mistake out over the plate, they're going to hurt you."
The game ended after midnight, running late because of a rain delay in the fourth inning that lasted nearly two hours.