Altuve sits to secure batting title

NEW YORK -- Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve will sit on the final day of the regular season rather than risk losing the AL batting title.

Altuve said he was prepared to start against the New York Mets, but team officials took the decision out of his hands.

After going 0-for-4 Saturday at Citi Field, Altuve's average slipped to an AL-leading .340. Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez lifted his average to .337 with a 1-for-2 performance Saturday against the Minnesota Twins.

"I came to the park today ready to play," Altuve said. "They called me into the office and explained everything. ... I wanted to play. It wasn't my option. They just said no."

Despite employing standouts such as Lance Berkman, Moises Alou, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Cesar Cedeno, the Astros have never had a batting champion.

Altuve has appeared in 157 games and has 703 plate appearances this season.

"I feel like I'm being honest," he said. "I've been playing most of the games. If it was up to me, I'd play today."

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