For the first time in franchise history, four Houston Astros players will be on the field for an All-Star Game when the first pitch is delivered in Cleveland on Tuesday.
Pitcher Justin Verlander will start on the mound for the American League, his eighth appearance in the annual game. Joining him at Progressive Field will be outfielders George Springer and Michael Brantley, along with third baseman Alex Bregman to start the game.
This will be the third straight year that Springer was selected as an All-Star, while Brantley will be a visiting All-Star in Cleveland, a place where he played for 10-plus years.
Bregman will play in his second straight All-Star Game, a year after he was named the most valuable player of last year’s game.
Two more Astros pitchers are also on the AL’s roster in starter Gerrit Cole and reliever Ryan Pressly. Cole is making his second All-Star appearance, while Pressly will be making his first.
Bregman fails to advance past first round in HR Derby
Alex Bregman had a good first round, but it wasn’t enough to catch Joc Pederson in the first round of Monday’s All-Star Home Run Derby.
Bregman was confident and hit 16 home runs in his time in the opening round, but Pederson, the Los Angeles Dodger outfielder, hit 21 homers in his round to advance. He would have an epic duel with Toronto Blue Jay outfielder Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the semifinals, with Guerrero winning 40-39.
New York Mets infielder Pete Alonzo was the winner by beating Guerrero 23-22 in the final round. In all, eight participants hit 91 home runs in the derby.
Gurriel named AL Player of the Week
Astros infielder Yuli Gurriel has been named the American League Player of the Week for the week of July 1-7. This marks the second-career American League Player of the Week award for Gurriel.
Last week, Gurriel hit .429 (9-for-21) with a double, six homers, 13 RBI and a 1.812 OPS (.478 OBP/1.333 SLG) in five games, four of which were Astros victories. He led all AL players last week in RBIs (13) and slugging percentage while being tied for first in home runs with six.
During the week, Gurriel became just the fifth player in Astros history to homer in five straight games, joining Jose Altuve (2019), Morgan Ensberg (2006), Carlos Beltran (2004) and Cliff Johnson (1975).
He capped off the week Sunday vs. the Los Angeles Angels, going 2-for-4 with a game-tying grand slam in the sixth inning, which helped lead the Astros to an 11-10 victory over the Angels.