Alex Bregman and the Astros offense were in true form in Thursday’s 12-4 victory over the Texas Rangers entering the final weekend of the regular season with a magic number of one to clinch the second playoff spot in the AL West.
Four Astros batters connected for home-runs – Springer, Altuve, Reddick, and Bregman, with Astros starter Christian Javier capping a strong rookie season allowing only three runs in 5 2/3 innings.
“I think that’s what we should be doing,” Bregman said. “We have a very good offense, and I thought we could have felt sorry for ourselves after getting in at 3 a.m. [CT Thursday] after a tough series in Seattle, but that would have been the easy thing to do. We’re going to show up and play hard every day. I’m proud of everybody in there.”
In his first at-bat against Rangers pitcher Lance Lynn, Alex connected on a 3-1 92.4 MPH Four-Seam fastball for a triple driving in Jose Altuve.
At the top of the 2nd, Alex faced Lynn again and lined out to third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa on a 0-2 86.9 MPH Cutter. On defense, Alex caught a hard line-drive from Andrew Romine to end the inning.
In the Bottom 3rd, Alex threw-out Rangers Jeff Mathis at 1st base on a hard-hit ground ball and had another defensive put-out on a soft-hit grounder by Rangers Nick Solak in the Bottom 4th.
In the Top 5th, and with Michael Brantley on 1st, Alex homered on the first pitch – a 90.8 MPH Sinker from Lynn, driving in Brantley for his 2nd RBI of the game.
In the Top 6th, Alex doubled on a sharp line drive to center fielder Leody Taveras on a 1-0 81.8 MPH Curveball.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa grounded out to Alex at 3rd base in the Bottom 7th.
Alex’s most exciting at-bat came in the Top 8th – Alex was one single away from the cycle with Rangers pitcher Taylor Hearn relentlessly attacking the strike zone:
With a 2-1 count, Alex fouled the next five pitches (Four-Seam/Slider/Slider/Four-Seam/Four-Seam) and had the patience to sit on a 2-2 ball outside the zone bringing the count to 3-2. The next pitch was a 95.6 MPH Four-Seam Fastball with Alex sending a fly ball to left fielder Nick Solak for an out.
Alex wasn’t the only Astro player on-point in this game, Altuve was a triple shy of the cycle with three hits and Josh Reddick had three hits including the Astros’ fourth homer of the night in the ninth inning. Springer also sent a 445-foot homer over the center-field wall in the second inning, a three-run shot that put the Astros ahead, 5-0.
Houston’s offensive outburst was its largest since scoring a season-high 13 runs against Colorado on Aug. 19.
Alex Bregman homers in 3-hit game
Alex Bregman’s RBI triple
Alex Bregman’s two-run home run
The Roberto Clemente Award winner will be selected via a blue-ribbon panel that includes Commissioner Rob Manfred, representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN, and TBS) and MLB.com, as well as Roberto’s children, Enrique, Luis, and Roberto Jr. Fans can vote for the Roberto Clemente Award via mlb.com/clemente21.