Alex Bregman represents Houston in the derby

2019 MLB Home Run Derby Recap

Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Before all of the All-Stars took the field on Tuesday night in Cleveland, a few of the strongest bats in the league went toe-to-toe in the Home Run Derby on Monday, including Houston's own Alex Bregman. Here is a recap of the night full of dingers:

Round 1 - Matchup 1: #5 Joc Pederson vs. #4 Alex Bregman

Houston fans didn't have to wait long to see their guy step into the box; his matchup was first on the schedule. Joc Pederson, the five seed from the Dodgers, went first, and was able to get 17 home runs in his regular four minutes, but was able to get an extension of 30 seconds by hitting two over 440 feet. He would add four more in those 30 seconds, setting the bar at 21 for Alex Bregman.

Bregman had plenty of friends cheering him on, but Bregman got out to a rough start, getting just six homers in the first minute and a half before taking his timeout. He did better after his break, but would be unable to get on a big enough streak, ending his round with 16 and coming up five home runs short, losing in the first round for the second straight year.

Winner: Joc Pederson

Round 1 - Matchup 2: #8 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. vs. #1 Matt Chapman

The next matchup was between the lowest seeded, and youngest ever participant, Vladimir Guerrero Jr of the Blue Jays and the highest seeded Matt Chapman from the A's, who took the spot of Christian Yelich who sat out the tournament with back soreness. Guerrero Jr. came out swinging, launching some monster dingers in the early parts of his round, quickly earning a 30-second bonus. He took his timeout with 2:48 left and seven homers on the board. He went on to finish his regular four minutes with 24 then added four more in his extra time for a total of 28, a new single-round record.

Matt Chapman waited longer into his round to take his break, stopping with 1:47 left but with just nine long balls recorded, though he had already earned the 30-second extension. He took his 13 total into the extra half-minute but would be unable to add any more, losing the round.

Winner: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Round 1 - Matchup 3: #6 Ronald Acuna Jr. vs. #3 Josh Bell

The next matchup started with Ronald Acuna Jr. from the Braves who put together a solid round. He quickly hit two home runs over the 440 foot mark, earning the bonus time when his regular four minutes was over. He hit 11 out of the park before taking his timeout with 1:41 left. He went on a tear after his breather, getting 12 more to bring his regular-time total to 23 then added one more in the extra time to finish with 24 overall.

Josh Bell of the Pirates looked to beat that high total, but would struggle to find his rhythm in the first half of his time, going into his break with just four and 2:33 left on the clock. He would heat up after that, getting up to 17 at the end of four minutes. He would only be able to add one more in the extra time, ending with 18 and losing the round.

Winner: Ronald Acuna Jr.

Round 1 - Matchup 4: #7 Carlos Santana vs. #2 Pete Alonso

The final matchup of the first round started with the hometown representative, Carlos Santana of the Indians. He was slow out the gate, not getting his first home run until nearly a minute into his clock. He would struggle to string multiple long balls together, taking his time out with five on the board and just 1:41 left. He did well in the remainder of his time, climbing up to 13, but would not earn the bonus time.

That set things up for rookie Pete Alonso of the Mets, the number two seed in the bracket. He too would have a rough start to his round, taking his timeout with 1:44 left on the clock and behind the pace at six home runs. He would do better with the time he had left, hitting the round-winning fourteenth home run with just a few seconds left in his regular time.

Winner: Pete Alonso

Round 2 - Matchup 1: #8 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. vs. #5 Joc Pederson 

Guerrero Jr. was first up in the second round and was once again hitting mammoth homers at a quick rate, getting nine quickly and earning the bonus time before taking his timeout early with 2:39 left in the round. He would continue to mash dinger after dinger, ending his original four minutes with 27. In his extra 30 seconds, he would match his record he set in the previous round, getting two more to bring his total to 29.

Pederson didn't go quietly or surrender his time away, getting out to a hot start in his half of the round. He earned his extra 30 seconds and had 14 home runs when he took his time out halfway through his time. He kept stringing multiple home runs together, staying within reach and ending his regular four minutes with 27, just two away from Guerrero's total. Pederson would finish tied with 29 total.

That set up a one-minute tiebreaker, where Guerrero Jr. would start things off with eight more home runs to bring his total to 37. Pederson, after an amazing round to tie things up, would match Guerrero Jr. yet again, getting eight of his own to re-tie things at 37 in the round.

The next tiebreaker was a three swing matchup. Guerrero Jr. left an opening for Pederson, getting just one home run out of his three chances. Pederson was in a great position after getting one down on his first swing but would come short on his second and third swings, setting up one more round.

In the next swing-off, Guerrero Jr. would get home runs on the first two swings before flying out on the third. That would be enough to win the absolute thriller of a round, with Pederson getting just one home run in his half of the third tiebreaker.

Winner: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Round 2 - Matchup 2: #6 Ronald Acuna Jr. vs. #2 Pete Alonso

In the other semifinal, Acuna Jr. started slower than in his first round, getting nine home runs before calling his timeout with 1:42 left. He was able to pick up the pace slightly after that and after getting his two 440-plus homers headed into his bonus 30 seconds with a total of 18. He would get just one more in the extra time, ending with 19.

Alonso looked to be in trouble, getting just eight home runs before taking his break with 1:49 left, though he had already added 30 seconds to his time. He wouldn't need it, though, getting winning home run number 20 on the last swing of his regular four minutes, sending him on to the final round.

Winner: Pete Alonso

Round 3 - Final: #8 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. vs. #2 Pete Alonso

The final matchup would pit the two dominant rookies against each other, and first to the plate was Guerrero Jr. who hoped to get one more electric round to take home the crown. He would take his first of two timeouts allowed in the final round with 2:52 left and with five homers recorded. He added three more before taking the other timeout a minute later. He finished his initial four minutes with 20 before coming back for his 30 second bonus time. In the bonus time, he would tack on two more to end at 22, bringing his total for the night to 91, a new record.

That put the ball in Alonso's hands, and he would start decently, getting eight homers before his first timeout with 2:47 left. He added ten more, including two over 440 feet to earn 30 more seconds, before taking his other break with 1:02 left. He would not need the extra time, getting the winning 23rd home run of the round with 18 seconds left.

Winner and 2019 Home Run Derby Champion: Pete Alonso

Houston's magic number is down to 1

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-4 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After the mini-sweep of the Rangers concluding with win number 100 on the season which secured a playoff spot, the Astros turned their sights to clinching the division. With their magic number at 2, they could clinch on Friday with a win in the series opener against Los Angeles and an Oakland loss. Here is a recap of the first game of the weekend against the Angels:

Final Score: Astros 6, Angels 4.

Record: 101-53, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zack Greinke (17-5, 3.05 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jaime Barria (4-10, 6.43 ERA).

1) Starting with a bang

With a chance to clinch their division and continue to lead the battle for playoff home-field advantage, Houston came out swinging on Friday night. In the first inning, the Astros blasted three home runs with solo shots from Jose Altuve which led off the inning, and Alex Bregman as he tries to catch the sidelined Mike Trout for a possible MVP award.

Later in the inning, Carlos Correa took advantage of a runner on base with a home run of his own, a two-run bomb to extend the lead before Josh Reddick tacked on one more with an RBI-single to make it 5-0 after one.

2) Greinke struggles in the fourth but finishes five innings

Zack Greinke allowed just two hits through the first three innings: a single and a solo home run which at the time cut the lead to 5-1. Carlos Correa pushed the lead back to five runs with his second home run of the night in the bottom of the third.

Greinke would struggle in the top of the fourth, however, allowing five straight hits which would score three runs to cut Houston's lead to 6-4. He would recover and toss a 1-2-3 fifth, but that would be it for him in a five-inning start, as Houston passed the ball to their bullpen to throw the last four frames. His final line: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.

3) Houston's bullpen dominant the rest of the way

Josh James was the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen to take over for Greinke in the top of the sixth and erased a two-out walk to complete a scoreless inning. Ryan Pressly, making his first appearance in a month after having surgery on his knee, returned dominantly with a 1-2-3 inning.

Will Harris did the same in the top of the eighth, holding the two-run lead going to the ninth. Roberto Osuna had the chance for another save in the top of the ninth and converted it to finish off the 6-4 win. That reduced the magic number to one, meaning the Astros are now a win or Oakland loss away from clinching the American League West. They are also just two wins away from matching last year's franchise number of 103.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set with the Angles will be on Saturday at 6:10 PM. Wade Miley (14-5, 3.71 ERA) will get the start for Houston while Patrick Sandoval (0-3, 4.91 ERA) is expected to be on the mound for Los Angeles.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome