Right fielder's 2 HRs give him 128 homers at Reds' home stadium
By Cody Pace
CINCINNATI -- When Reds right fielder Jay Bruce arrived in the Major Leagues as a fresh-faced 21-year-old in 2008, he had a veteran in Adam Dunn to look up to.
"I have all the respect in the world for him," Bruce said. "He kind of raised me as a Major Leaguer in a lot of ways. Taught me how to respect the game and he taught me, I was young, 21 years old coming up, and as a 21-year-old, as a young kid in the Major Leagues, there are some things that you need to learn and need to kind of go about your business, be quiet, be professional."
In the fourth inning of Wednesday's 8-7 loss in 12 innings against the Indians, the student finally surpassed the teacher. Bruce hit a first-pitch changeup from Mike Clevinger for a two-out solo home run into the first row of seats in right field. It was Bruce's seventh homer of the season, but it was also his 127th at Great American Ball Park -- making him the stadium's new all-time leader, a record previously held by Dunn.
In the eighth, Bruce hit his second homer of the night -- eighth of the season -- and the 128th of his career at GABP. Bruce tied Dunn with his 126th homer at GABP, on May 11 against the Pirates.
Overall for his career that started with Cincinnati in 2008, Bruce has 216 career homers. That has him seventh on the club's all-time list behind George Foster's 244.
Dunn was known for his home-run-hitting ability, something that Bruce still greatly respects.
"In my opinion, [Dunn] was underrated," Bruce said. "I know he struck out a lot and you can say what you want about him on the defensive side of things, but for a player to legitimately hit 40 home runs every single year, to walk 100 times and drive in 100 runs, that's very, very special."
As a whole, Bruce downplayed the importance of breaking the record, though.
"It means that I've been on a team long enough to hit that many home runs," Bruce said. "To me that's special because time in the Major Leagues is not easy to come by."
Already the subject of trade rumors all offseason and into Spring Training, Bruce's ability to extend his record too far could be limited. Because of this, he acknowledged that his time atop the GABP rankings might be short-lived.
"The record's probably not going to stand for very long," Bruce said. "Joey [Votto's] got nine years left here. I'm guessing that he's going to hold it here before too, too long."
Cody Pace is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.