Top prospect Bregman collects 1st MLB hit

Astros rookie breaks 0-for-18 stretch to open career with single to center

Top prospect Bregman collects 1st MLB hit

DETROIT -- Seeing the baseball land in the outfield grass at Comerica Park in the third inning Sunday was a sigh of relief for rookie Alex Bregman, who was able to take some pressure off of himself by getting his first big league hit in an 11-0 loss to the Tigers after going 0-for-18 to start his career.

Bregman was able to flash a smile before Tigers star first baseman Miguel Cabrera put his arm around baseball's top prospect and reminded him his promising career is only beginning.

"He said, 'Congrats. 2,999 more. Let's go,'" Bregman said.

Bregman's single off Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey was one of the only bright spots for the Astros, who were swept in Detroit. Bregman, who was playing in his sixth game, was moved to the No. 2 spot in the lineup Sunday in a vote of confidence by manager A.J. Hinch.

Bregman said he was going to give the ball to his parents.

"I felt like I was putting together good at-bats," Bregman said. "That's the way you get hits. You can't go up there trying to get hits. You can just go up there trying to put together at-bats and square the baseball up. That's what I was trying to do, just have good at-bats. Fortunate enough to get that one out of the way. Now it's time to get on a little roll and start winning some games."

Despite his struggles, Bregman hadn't looked overmatched at the plate. In other words, it was only a matter of time before the hits would come.

"Obviously, his at-bats have been good, he's put some balls in play pretty hard, so to get the first one -- he's allowed to smile on it even though it's in a bad game," Hinch said. "Hoping he collects a deep breath and puts together a little streak here."

Bregman is heady enough and mature enough to know the struggles that will come with the game and take them in stride. He said he once went 4-for-70 during his college career at LSU and was able to rebound pretty well.

"I've been there before and that's helped for right now," he said. "It's baseball. These guys are good. But it's nothing I haven't seen before. I'm just trying to put together good at-bats and do anything I can to help contribute."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.