SEA@HOU: Maxwell hit by pitch to score Altuve

HOUSTON -- Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell, who's been out nearly a month with a fractured left hand, is no longer wearing a brace and continues to make good progress. He hit 15 balls off a tee on Monday and took 30 more swing from soft toss.

Maxwell said he was still a little sore and is scheduled to have a routine X-ray on Tuesday.

"I've just been working with [assistant athletic trainer] Rex Jones, trying to figure out what kind of contraption I'm going to wear over the battling glove," Maxwell said. "I just need to protect the area."

Maxwell said team physician Dr. Tom Mehlhoff told him that even though the bone is healed, it won't be as strong as before and advised Maxwell to wear protection. He's not going to wear a Jeff Bagwell-like pad on top of his batting glove, choosing a hard plastic shield instead.

Meanwhile, infielder Ronny Cedeno was still battling a sinus infection and some weakness, but said on Monday that he was feeling better. Cedeno said he was fine to play after the weekend series against the Pirates with his illness.

"I'm going to try to practice [Monday] and work out, and see how I feel," he said.

Altuve leaves Boras to rejoin former agency

HOU@PIT: Altuve smacks a run-scoring single in fifth

HOUSTON -- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve recently left agent Scott Boras and signed with Scott Pucino and Wil Polidor of Octagon -- the agency that originally represented him before he switched to Boras about a year ago.

Altuve, an All-Star in 2012, who's making a push to make the American League All-Star team this year, entered Monday hitting .333 and was tied for first in the Majors with seven three-hit games and tied for sixth in the AL with 54 hits.

Altuve, 23, is under Astros control through 2017 and won't be eligible for arbitration until 2015, but Houston won't have to negotiate with Boras when and if it decides to try to lock up Altuve to a long-term contract.

"We concern ourselves with the player himself and not so much who the player uses as his representative," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "It's not our business."