It was a familiar sight for Astros fans Wednesday: Jose Altuve stepped into the batter’s box to start a game and quickly hit the first pitch he saw into left field for a strike.
Except this time, Altuve’s first single came against the Astros.
No, there was no shock trade that sends Altuve to a non-MLB team. Altuve remains the face of the franchise that has won two World Series, including the 2022 edition. Earlier, Altuve was playing for Team Venezuela in an exhibition game as Venezuela prepared to participate in the World Classic of Baseball 2023.
Altuve finished 1-for-4 with a hit and a run scored before being pinch hit by the Yankees’ Gleyber Torres in the sixth inning.
Altuve, who was the 2017 American League MVP, is one of the biggest names on a Venezuelan roster loaded with MLB talent, including future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. Venezuela will look to be one of two teams to advance from Group D, which includes fellow powerhouses the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
Altuve will have some familiar faces from the Venezuelan team, including Astros pitcher Luis García and first base coach Omar Lopez, who manages the team.
Venezuela’s first game will be against the Dominican Republic team at 7pm ET on Saturday on FOX Sports 1.
The 2023 Baseball World Classic will be available exclusively in the United States on the FOX family of networks and the FOX Sports app through the championship game in Miami on March 21.
FOX Sports Top Stories:
Get more from Major League Baseball Follow your favorites for information on games, news and more