Alex Bregman falls a homer shy in Home Run Derby debut

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Alex Bregman made the most of his Home Run Derby debut in Washington on Monday night, falling one blast shy of tying Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs in the first round of the single elimination tournament.

After Schwarber impressed with 16 home runs, Bregman had to follow to either better the mark or tie it to force a hit-off.

With about 45 seconds left of his four minutes at the plate, Bregman tried to tie Schwarber with long-balls under the wire. All of the blasts from thereafter fell short.

Even in a losing effort, Bregman showed power and got the love of his fellow Astros All-Stars who were cheering him on.
RELATED: Alex Bregman adds first Home Run Derby to his inaugural MLB All-Star selection

And in a touching gesture, Bregman, who has been working on learning the Spanish language, thanked the man who delivered his pitches, Astros bullpen pitcher Javier Bracamonte.

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Alex Bregman thanks his Derby pitcher, Astros bullpen pitcher Javier Bracamonte, in Spanish

Earlier in the day, Bregman spoke to the media about how he feels about not only competing in his first Derby, but also about representing the American League in a field comprising seven other National League sluggers.

RELATED: How other Astros have fared in the Home Run Derby

"I've been nervous about it since I woke up this morning," said Bregman. "With that being said, I'm looking forward to it, though. It's going to be fun and exciting."

What has been fun and exciting for Astros fans is seeing Bregman become the clutch difference-maker for the defending World Series champs.

Bregman has been involved in four walk-off game-winning plays this season, including a bizarre hit and error last week against the Athletics. Of course, no one can forget his walk-off hit to win Game 5 of last year's World Series.

Bregman is also producing a career season for the long ball. He sits at 20 home runs on the year, which is already a career high. He had 19 homers last regular season.

Despite nerves, one of his teammates thought there wouldn't be too much trouble when he steps into the box Monday night.

"He says anytime anybody tries to offer him advice, he says, 'I try to hit home runs in (batting practice) anyway," said Astros pitcher Justin Verlander. "So it's no different."

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