Reds rookie Bruce continues torrid pace
Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds hit his second home run in as many days and added an RBI single on Sunday to lead his team to a 6-2 home win over the Atlanta Braves.
Bruce, who made his major league debut on Tuesday, is now batting .591 (13-for-22) in six games, with six runs batted in, eight runs and two steals. The outfielder hit his first career home run on Saturday, a solo shot in the 10th inning to give the Reds an 8-7 win.
"He's having the time of his life," teammate Ken Griffey Jr. said. "From a guy who did it 20 years ago, it's definitely fun to see it, to see the kid smile day-in and day-out.
"Everybody knew he could hit, but it's been a lot of fun to watch."
Heavily scouted since his high school days, the 21-year-old Bruce progressed all the way from single- to triple-A in 2007, earning Baseball America's honour for minor league player of the year.
Bruce was hitting .364 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs with Triple-A Louisville this season before being summoned by the Reds.
The Beaumont, Texas, native went two-for-three on Sunday with a walk. His solo shot to centre in the third inning gave Cincinnati a 2-0 lead and his base hit in the seventh brought Andy Phillips across for a 5-2 lead.
As a result, the cheers of "BRUUUCE" have already been well-established at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati
"It's unlike anything I've ever experienced before," Bruce said.
Adam Dunn jumpstarted the Reds in the second inning with his 15th home run, while starter Johnny Cueto (4-5) didn't allow a hit until Gregor Bianco's bunt single in the sixth inning.
Griffey, who hit his 599th career home run on Saturday, went two-for-three with a walk. Griffey, 38, can become just the sixth player in major league history, to reach 600 home runs.
"I'm not worried about 600," he said. "If you hit the ball hard enough, it will go. A lot of things happen between 599 and 600 — getting hits, getting guys over and a lot of small things."
Toronto native Joey Votto, who has 10 home runs already this season, struggled at the plate in the weekend sweep of the Braves. The rookie Cincinnati first baseman went 2-for-10 over the weekend and was hitless on Sunday.
Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann hit their eighth and 10th home runs, respectively, to bring the Braves to within 3-2 on Sunday before the Reds pulled away. Atlanta now has a 7-21 record on the road.
"It's mind-boggling," said starter Tim Hudson, who dropped to 7-4 with the loss.
With files from the Associated Press