Homer surge a good sign Bruce settling in

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- One of several Reds to get off to a slow start at the plate this spring, Jay Bruce zoomed to the top of the leaderboard in home runs in just one game.

In Tuesday's loss to the Angels, Bruce was 2-for-2 with two homers. In the second inning, he sent a 2-0 Tommy Hanson pitch to left-center field for his first long ball. In the fourth against Ernesto Frieri, Bruce yanked a very long drive to right field on a 2-1 pitch.

"Home runs always feel good; so do hits," Bruce said Wednesday. "I'm settling in a little more in spring. This is a long Spring Training. No real rush, I'm just doing the necessary things to give you a chance to be where you want to be during the season."

Bruce, who went 0-for-3 vs. Team Canada on Wednesday, is batting .188 (3-for-16) this spring.

The homer to left-center field Tuesday was especially encouraging to see, because Bruce was able to stay on the ball and drive it to the opposite field.

"The key in Spring Training is the work you do in the mornings and whatever it is to get your swing where it needs to be," Bruce said. "And it's direction, staying to the big part of the field. Early in camp, I wasn't doing that very well. I've hit the ball to right but my first hit was a single up the middle and I've hit balls to left-center and that's always a good sign."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.