As George Springer returns, Alex Bregman drops in Astros' batting order

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    CHICAGO – In the span of a day, the hot-hitting Alex Bregman went from leadoff to seventh in the Astros’ batting order.Bregman’s fall, of course, coincided with the activation of George Springer Jeremy Hazelbaker Jersey, who returned to his customary leadoff spot Wednesday after missing 13 games with a quad injury. Jose Altuve and Josh Reddick have a stranglehold on the Nos. 2 and 3 spots against righthanders and Yuli Gurriel and Marwin Gonzalez have seemingly settled into the Nos. 4 and 5 spots. “Which guy are you going to take out?,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “It’s not going to be Altuve. It’s not going to be Reddick. It’s not going to be Yuli. Marwin’s very comfortable in the five-hole.”You just start going down in the order and you start to realize that we can have one of our most dangerous hitters at this time hitting in the bottom third That means we have a good team and a good offense and a good opportunity to score in a lot of innings, not just the first.” The switch-hitting Carlos Beltran batted sixth Wednesday, a configuration that allows Hinch to avoid having three lefthanded hitters in a row at the bottom of the order. The difference between Nos. 6 and 7 is negligible, anyway. Bregman might still bat second against lefthanders, a lineup that would push Altuve back to the three-hole. Bregman has been on a tear as of late. After batting .249 .329 .402 in April, May and June, he’s slashed  in July and August.”I think part of why our offense is the best in the league in a lot of categories is the depth,” Hinch said. “

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