Bregman Falls in Home Run Derby, Verlander to Start for AL in All-Star Game

Alex Bregman didn't win the home run derby, but he'll be back in the starting lineup at the All Star game Tuesday night.
Alex Bregman didn't win the home run derby, but he'll be back in the starting lineup at the All Star game Tuesday night. Photo by Jack Gorman
The Astros are well represented at this year's midsummer classic in Cleveland. On Monday, the league held its annual home run derby and Alex Bregman participated for the second straight year. Although he had a good outing with 16 homers in his first at bat, the man opposite him, Dodger outfielder Joc Pederson, had 21 — forcing Bregman's exit.

Pederson went on to lose in the second round to Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., in an epic match that required three bonus rounds to be decided. Guerrero lost to Mets rookie sensation Pete Alonso in the finals.

On Tuesday night, the main event takes place with three Astros starting in the field (Bregman, Michael Brantley and George Springer) and one on the mound. Justin Verlander was named the AL starter for the second time in his career and will throw the first pitch in the city where he threw his first pitch in the majors.

The four starters for the Astros represent a franchise record. Gerrit Cole and Ryan Pressly, who are also on the AL team as reserves, gives the 'Stros six all stars, the most of any team.

In last year's game, Bregman and Springer had back-to-back home runs in the top of the 10th inning to help the AL best the NL, 8-6. Bregman was named MVP. Brantley, who was playing for the Indians at the time, had a sac fly in the 10th as well. Now, all three will be starting together along with Verlander in the place where Verlander threw his first pitch and Brantley played most of his career.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke