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Jay Bruce slugs three home runs in win over Cubs

Aug 28, 2010, 10:44 AM EDT

Figures as soon as Jay Bruce gets moved to the leadoff spot, he starts hitting like the middle-of-the-order presence we’ve all been waiting for.

Bruce homered in three straight at-bats and tied a career-high with five RBI in a 7-1 win over the Cubs on Friday night. None of them were cheapies, either. All three traveled over 400 feet.

Bruce is actually the second member of the Reds to hit three home runs in a game this season. Drew Stubbs hit three back on July 4, also against the Cubs.

The 23-year-old outfielder is now batting .270 with 16 homers, 55 RBI and a 790 OPS this season. The power has been largely absent this season, leading some to label him as a mild disappointment, but if there’s one thing to really be encouraged about, it’s the progress he has made against left-handed pitching.

Bruce is batting .257/.331/.479 with eight homers, 20 RBI and an 810 OPS against southpaws this season. All three homers on Friday night game off left-handers — two off Tom Gorzelanny, one off Scott Maine. Bruce told Jeff Wallner of MLB.com that he strives to be a complete player.

“I’m determined to prove that I can hit against left-handers,” Bruce
said. “I want to see my name in the lineup every day. I have a lot of
improving to do. I feel like I’m supposed to be a really, really
productive player.”

Bruce did most of the heavy lifting on Friday night, but Johnny Cueto was brilliant in his own right, tossing eight innings of one-run ball while striking out eight and walking none. The Cardinals ended a three-game losing streak with a win over the Nationals on Friday night, so the Reds remain four games in front in the National League Central. 

  1. Chief McHeath - Aug 28, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    Wrist injury from last year undoubtedly sapped some of his power in the early season, Jay might just now be recovered enough to start turning the corner.

  2. Old Gator - Aug 28, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    It’s a boost for Johnny Cueto’s confidence to be pitching against the Cubs, a team apparently too addled by prions and uninterested in what they’re doing to have even taken good money from the Cardinals to whack him.
    .
    Wasn’t Jay Bruce the name of the rubber doll that Leonard gave Stokely in Serial?

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