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Seeking consistency, Bruce finds power early

Seeking consistency, Bruce finds power early

NEW YORK -- Reds right fielder Jay Bruce entered Saturday's game after he went 4-for-9 over the games on Thursday vs. the Cardinals and Friday against the Mets. Those games also included his first two home runs of the season.

Bruce hit a two-run homer to right field off of Lance Lynn on Thursday in a 7-6 loss. During Friday's 4-3 loss, he took a pitch from Mets lefty John Lannan deep over the fence in right-center field for another two-run homer.

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Last season, Bruce didn't hit his first home run until April 22, the 20th game of 2013. His second homer didn't come until game No. 35 on May 8.

"I don't honestly take a lot of time to think about it. Home runs come as they come," Bruce said. "It's about trying to take a consistent approach and give myself the best chance. I know it sounds cliché, but it's the truth.

"Last year, I couldn't explain why I didn't have any home runs until May. Lately, I've put some good swings on some good pitches, and it's worked out for me."

Bruce, who turned 27 on Thursday, finished the '13 season with 30 homers and a career-high 109 RBIs. He had a steady Spring Training and felt like he entered this season feeling good.

"I think, year by year, it's been a building process," Bruce said. "I believe that I'm better and that I will continue to get better. I don't think it has anything to do with the two home runs this year, but it's a consistent approach and a mindset and executing better. I'm confident I will do that."

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.

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