Alex Bregman's injury (and early exit) set the stage for Astros collapse vs. Angels

Once Bregman was removed from the game, chaos ensued.
Houston Astros infielder Alex Bregman
Houston Astros infielder Alex Bregman / Logan Riely/GettyImages

Things were going so well, and then — disaster! The Houston Astros fell to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, but were still able to take the series from their AL West rival. However, a sweep of one of the worst teams in the league would've been nice, and had Alex Bregman not exited with an injury, Houston may have done just that.

Bregman was 1-for-3 with a RBI, having smacked his 12th double of the season off Angels' starter Patrick Sandoval in the top of the third inning. At the time, Bregman's two-bagger put the 'Stros on top 2-1, and then an all-out blitz by Houston's bats in the top of the sixth inning put the Astros up 7-4.

But it was during that sixth inning when Bregman was hit by a pitch courtesy of Angels' reliever Hunter Strickland. The ball struck the Astros' star on his left wrist. Bregman stayed in the game initially, but was removed in favor of Trey Cabbage between innings. And that's went it all went awry.

Alex Bregman's injury (and early exit) set the stage for Astros collapse vs. Angels

Cabbage came on to play left field, and Mauricio Dubon moved from the outfield grass onto the infield dirt to take over for Bregman at the hot corner. As if oftentimes the case, the ball will find you, and it found Dubon unprepared at third.

A 103-mph shot off the bat of Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe ate up Dubon. The Astros' infielder was charged with an error and would eventually come around to score on a Mickey Moniak RBI single. That brought Los Angeles within two runs of the Astros' lead.

LA closed the gap entirely in the bottom of the eighth inning, and while it wasn't as costly, Dubon committed his second error at third base during that inning as well. Astros closer Josh Hader was able to get Taylor Ward to strike out, so Dubon's second miscue of the game was not as costly as his first.

Then, in the ninth inning, what would be the game-winning home run was dropped by Cabbage (though it was a tough play). O'Hoppe's big fly landed in the mitt of Cabbage, but upon crashing into the wall, the Astros' outfielder dropped the ball into the stands. Could Dubon have made that play? We'll never know.

Bregman underwent X-rays that were said to be negative, so there's hope that Houston's third baseman is back on the Monday night against the San Francisco Giants, and that's needed. After some early-season struggles, Bregman has hit .252/.318/.489 with 16 extra-base hits since May 1.

The entire game changed once Bregman exited, and it ended in a 9-7 Astros loss. Houston can't afford to have those Ls continue to pile up while they attempt to get back into the AL West race.

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