Not long after his 3-for-4 night with two homers, a triple and four RBIs for a 6-1 Reds win, Jay Bruce personified the Reds’ confidence these days.
“We came in here and took care of business,” Bruce said of the 6-3 home stand that included a sweep of Houston. We’ll go on the road on a roll with some momentum. We plan on coming back in first place.”
Up next: a seven-game road trip vs. the Brewers (three) and Cardinals (four). Cincinnati is in third place in the NL Central, only 1 1/2 games behind first place St. Louis and a half-game behind second-place Milwaukee.
“We have to get after it,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We know it’s going to be tough. They play well in their ballparks. We play well on the road.”
The Reds have every right to feel the swagger they’ve had. They are again a season-high six games over .500 at 26-20. They’ve won four in a row and six of the last eight. They are now over .500 at home at 13-12 and hit the road with a 13-8 away record.
“We’ve played well on the road so far,” Bruce said. “We’ve played these teams tough so far. I always feel confident. We have a great pitching staff. We’re hitting well and hopefuilly Brandon will come back and we’ll keep rolling. It’s been a fun year so far. It’s just getting started.”
I’m no math-lete but I calculated that Bruce is on pace for 49 home runs this season. Right now, he’s batting .241 with 14 homers and 29 RBIs.
What would you consider a successful road trip?
Added question for you: What place do you think the Reds will be in when the trip is over?
See you in Milwaukee.
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