HOUSTON — There was a reason he was called “Mash” when he was in Triple-A Iowa, but he was still waiting to use that nickname in the majors for his first two weeks with the Cubs.

But during his ninth game, the moment finally arrived for Matt Mervis, and it was the best part of an otherwise tough night for his team against the Astros in Houston.

In the top of the second inning, the first baseman hit his first major league homer, taking a Christian Javier pitch down the line in right and off the foul pole for the solo shot. Mervis pointed to the sky as he reached home plate at Minute Maid Park after the milestone moment, which came after a little bit of a wait.

Making his debut on May 5, Mervis had seven hits coming into Tuesday and only one of those had gone for extra bases. But he didn’t wait long to hit his first major league homer in the first at-bat of his ninth contest and 33rd at-bat with the Cubs.

Power was a big part of Mervis’ success in the minors the last two seasons as he hit 36 homers during the 2022 season with three Cubs’ affiliates. In 24 games at Triple-A Iowa early in the 2023 season, he had six homers along with seven doubles and 27 RBI.

In his nine games at the major league level, Mervis is hitting .250 with four RBI.

It was the bright spot in a rough night for the Cubs overall as Justin Steele endured what has been a rare rough night on the mound this season. He surrendered five earned runs and five hits in a 7-3 loss to Houston as the Cubs have now lost four-straight games.