No matter how many a player records, hitting a home run is a special occasion. For the Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, his two-run homer Sunday had added emotion behind it.
Bregman's 16th home run of the season came in front of 500 family members and friends of the victims of the Uvalde elementary school shooting, who were invited by Houston as part of "Uvalde Strong Day."
As manager Dusty Baker said in the dugout afterward, Bregman "hit one for Uvalde," a reference to the remembrance of the 19 elementary students and two teachers who were killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24.
SPORTS NEWSLETTER: Sign up now to get top sports headlines delivered daily
"It was great to get a win just to have them here and be able to watch the Astros win," Bregman said after the game. "Hopefully they can continue to have fun watching Astros baseball for years to come."
Today, we welcomed the community of Uvalde to MMP for Uvalde Strong Day.
We are committed to the continued healing of the Uvalde community through the game of baseball. During the game, fans can purchase Uvalde Strong t-shirts, with all proceeds going to Uvalde Strong efforts. pic.twitter.com/vyRVsy6sWF
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 14, 2022
Houston completed its sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 6-3 win Sunday. In addition to Bregman's homer, pitcher Cristian Javier threw six shutout innings.
As part of the day of remembrance, the team chartered 10 buses to bring the Uvalde community to Minute Maid Park and hosted a pregame event with Bregman, Baker, Jose Altuve and Lance McCullers Jr.
During the Q&A session, a young girl from the crowd, wearing a "Team Altuve" shirt, asked the second baseman to hit a home run for her.
While Altuve didn't record the homer, he did double home two runs in the second inning to give the American League West's top competitors an early lead.
Today's ceremonial 1st pitch before the #Astros-A's game at MMP was thrown by Faith Mata, a 21-year old from Uvalde, Texas who lost her 10-year old sister, Tess Mata during the shooting back in May.
Tess was a big fan of Jose Altuve.
(📹: Houston Astros) pic.twitter.com/a1eIZCLDv3
— Daniel Gotera (@DTGoteraKHOU) August 14, 2022
About 3,000 people from Uvalde received free tickets from the Astros, and the team hosted several fundraising opportunities around the stadium on Sunday. All proceeds went to families affected by the shooting, according to the Associated Press.
Faith Mata, 21, threw out the first pitch wearing a photo of her sister Tess on her chest. Tess, 10, was one of the victims killed in May. Her favorite player was Altuve.
“This is what we’re here for,” Baker said. “We’re not only here to play ball for our town, for ourselves, for our teammates, we’re here to aid the healing of people.”
The victory against Oakland extended Houston's winning streak to four games and lifted the Astros to 75-41, the best record in the American League. The Astros start a four-game series Monday against the Chicago White Sox.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve star for Houston Astros on Uvalde Strong Day