HOUSTON (KIAH) — To say Jose Altuve is hot at the plate right now might be the understatement of all time.

The smallest man on the Astros roster is a huge reason that Houston is now in sole possession of first place in the American League West Division for the first time in the 2023 Major League Baseball Season.

In Tuesday night’s 14-1 drubbing of the in-state rival Texas Rangers — that gave the Astros the division lead — the fan-favorite second baseman hit home runs in his first three plate appearances.

That made Altuve just the fourth player in almost 150 years of Major League Baseball history to homer in the first, second, and third innings of the same game.

But that’s just the beginning of the jaw-dropping stats.

Altuve also hit home runs in the sixth and ninth innings of Monday’s 13-6 beatdown of the Rangers giving him five home runs in six at-bats over the span of two games.

That’s an Astros record, and it’s tied with three other players for an MLB record.

He’s also the first player since 1961 to homer in four straight innings.

“I don’t recall,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said when asked if he’d ever seen three homers from a player in the first three innings. “Probably not. Barry Bonds, maybe.”

The accomplishment comes barely a week after Altuve became the first Astro since 2013 to hit for the cycle.

No other Astro has ever had a cycle and a three-home run game in one season, and Joe DiMaggio is the only other MLB player to ever do both in less than ten days’ time.

Primed to add to division lead

Now that the Astros have the division lead, they’re likely going to put some distance between themselves and the Rangers and the Seattle Managers — now in third and second place in the A.L. West respectively.

The finale of the three-game series in Arlington with Texas on Wednesday features a matchup of aces and former New York Mets teammates.

Justin Verlander will be the starting pitcher for Houston while the Rangers will counter with Max Scherzer.

The Mets dealt both pitchers to their new clubs at the trade deadline last month.

After an off-day Thursday, the Astros have nine games against teams that are either last or next-to-last in their division.

First up, they host the fourth place in the National League West Division San Diego Padres for three games at Minute Maid Park over the weekend.

The last place in the A.L. West Oakland A’s then come to Houston for three games Monday through Wednesday.

Then the Astros are off to Kansas City for three games with the AL Central basement-dwelling Royals September 15-17.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.