Bruce adjusting to big league life

Bruce adjusting to big league life

CINCINNATI -- The adrenaline rush from Tuesday night's memorable Major League debut has begun to fade for Jay Bruce, affording the 21-year-old rookie time to adjust to life in the big leagues.

Bruce's sizeable contingent of family and friends has returned home, and he's beginning to settle into a routine.

"I was really glad everyone was here to see the first game," Bruce said. "It's helped some that they're gone. It's beginning to feel like a normal season. I'm just coming in every day and tending to business."

Reds fans, of course, still are bellowing Bruce's name, and his on-field heroics continue almost daily.

In Saturday afternoon's 10-inning victory over the Braves, Bruce hit a walk-off solo homer, the first dinger of his career, to lift the Reds to a dramatic 8-7 victory. He scored the winning run in Friday night's 11-inning win.

"I'm just happy to contribute," Bruce said. "Everybody's doing their part right now. Everything over the past few days has been great. I'm just trying to stay with a consistent approach."

In five games since his promotion from Triple-A Louisville, Bruce is batting .579 with three doubles, a homer and four RBIs. He's struck out just once in 19 at-bats.

"He's going to learn how to hit home runs," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "He had to come in as a hitter."

Most notably, Bruce has batted .625 (5-for-8) against left-handers, including a three-hit performance Friday against future Hall of Fame left-hander Tom Glavine.

"I tried not to pay attention to the name on the back of his jersey," Bruce said. "Tom Glavine's a sure-fire Hall of Famer. He's one of the most respected pitchers of all time. It felt great."

Day by day, the youngster is feeling more like just one of the guys in the Reds' clubhouse.

"When I got here, I wanted to settle into a routine," Bruce said. "There are still some things I need to figure out. But I'm glad the fans are here and enjoying the games. Winning is fun. It's something I think we're going to start doing more of."

Jeff Wallner is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.