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NEW YORK – Jose Altuve talked his way into the lineup and wrapped up the American League batting title with two more hits for the Houston Astros, beaten 8-3 by the New York Mets after Bobby Abreu sparked the decisive rally Sunday with a base hit in his final big league at-bat.
Lucas Duda homered and drove in four runs, Bartolo Colon reached 15 wins for the eighth time and the Mets finished second in the NL East, their highest spot in the standings since 2008. New York (79-83) won its last two games to improve by five wins over consecutive 74-88 records the previous two years.
Initially benched by the Astros in an attempt to protect his lead in the batting race, Altuve reiterated his desire to play and the team relented, revealing he was added to the starting lineup in a Twitter post about 35 minutes before the first pitch.
The mini-saga made for a bizarre morning at Citi Field, but Altuve was hardly affected at the plate. He went 2 for 4 with a ground-rule double and a run-scoring infield single, ending the season with 225 hits and a .341 average — both best in the majors.
Altuve began the day with a three-point lead over Detroit slugger Victor Martinez, who went 0 for 3 and finished at .335.