Things starting to fall into place for Bregman

Things starting to fall into place for Bregman

ARLINGTON -- Astros third baseman Alex Bregman began his career at a 1-for-32 clip and didn't hit his first home run until his 20th game, but he is beginning to put up the numbers that made him one of the most highly touted prospects in baseball.

With a solo homer and his first career triple -- good for two RBIs -- Bregman matched a career high with three RBIs in the Astros' 10-8 loss to the Rangers on Friday night at Globe Life Park.

Manager A.J. Hinch has enjoyed watching the 22-year-old Bregman learn on the fly as the Astros continue to fight for a spot in the postseason.

"He was having good at-bats, even in his dry spell," Hinch said. "It's nice to watch him mature and learn. It's his first time through this league, first time he's in a pennant race and the first time he's facing a lot of these pitchers or hitting in these ballparks."

Bregman's six career homers have all come in his last 16 games. He's also collected 19 of his 23 RBIs over that stretch.

"He's just maturing," Hinch said. "I think he's a good hitter, but he's a good [overall] player. He was a good player when he went 1-for-32, and he's been a good player with the way he's played this last month."

Bregman opened the scoring for the Astros with his homer off Rangers starter A.J. Griffin out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup. The ball traveled an estimated 417 feet to left field, according to Statcast™.

Bregman's solo home run

After the Astros scored two runs in the first -- Evan Gattis' sac fly plated the other -- the Rangers scored nine unanswered runs off starter Doug Fister and right-hander Michael Feliz until Jason Castro hit a solo home run in the fifth.

Castro's solo homer

Two innings later, it was Bregman who gave the Astros some hope with his two-run triple, which brought the score to 10-5. Bregman would score on an error by Nomar Mazara following a fly ball off the bat of Jose Altuve.

Astros plate a run on an error

"We battled," Bregman said. "We got up, 2-0, and then we just got down and they came out swinging it. We battled back; our guys had some good at-bats to fight to get us back into the game."

Bregman found himself in the spotlight again in the eighth, when he represented the potential go-ahead run with runners on first and second and two outs after Tyler White brought the Astros within two with a two-run double, but Rangers right-hander Keone Kela got him to pop out to end the threat.

White's two-run double

"We had an opportunity to tie it, but we didn't come through," Bregman said. "That's baseball. We're focused on the next pitch, and we're ready to play tomorrow. We were just trying to string together good at-bats, and we did a good job with that. It got us back in the fight, and we just didn't get all the way back."

Houston now trails Texas by 9 1/2 games in the American League West and Detroit and Baltimore by two games for the second AL Wild Card spot.

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