Bregman gets first MLB homer under his belt

Bregman gets first MLB homer under his belt

HOUSTON -- Although it might have been overshadowed in Tuesday's 8-5 loss to the Cardinals, in which Jose Altuve notched his 1,000th career hit, Astros rookie Alex Bregman made some history of his own, hitting his first career home run.

The dinger, a game-tying two-run shot over the right-field wall in the bottom of the first, came in Bregman's 20th career game as an Astro.

"It was awesome," Bregman said. "They've been giving me a hard time a little bit about hitting 20 in the Minors and then not hitting one up here yet, so it was cool."

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said that Bregman was "flying around the bases" after his ball went over the wall, and who could blame him? It's been a rocky road to this point.

The LSU product was selected with the second overall pick in the 2015 Draft, one spot behind Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson, who was called up on Tuesday afternoon. Swanson and Bregman are the quickest Nos. 1 and 2 picks to reach the Majors since Alex Rodriguez and Darren Dreifort in 1994.

"It's an awesome accomplishment," Bregman said. "It's crazy to think we were in school just a year ago. I'm so happy for him. I really wish him the best. I hope he has a long, healthy, great career."

But Bregman's own career started on a sour note, as he went 2-for-38 in his first 10 games.

Since then, though, he has rebounded in a big way. In the 10 games since that 2-for-38 start, Bregman is batting .302 with 13 hits -- including five doubles -- and six RBIs. He also has three multihit games during that span.

Said Hinch: "He's learning on the fly in the middle of the dog days of August, so I'm happy with him, for sure."

Bregman said that one of the most special parts of his home run was the reception when he returned to the dugout.

"[Jake Marisnick] threw water all over me," Bregman said, "and [George Springer] and all the guys were really happy. It was cool to see them so happy for that moment."

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.