Bruce slams way to tie for AL home run lead

Slugger blasts 11th homer of season; Bishop records first MLB hit, RBIs

May 5th, 2019

CLEVELAND -- Mariners left fielder continues to terrorize pitchers at Progressive Field.

Bruce belted a first-inning grand slam off Cody Anderson, moving into a tie for the American League lead in home runs with 11, as Seattle routed the Indians, 10-0, on Sunday afternoon.

The 392-foot shot to right-center was his second homer of the weekend and the eighth grand slam of his 12-year MLB career. It had a 102.9 mph exit velocity, according to Statcast.

“I thought it was huge because it swung momentum our way early and it put [starting pitcher Erik Swanson] ahead right off the bat,” said Bruce, who shares the league lead with Texas’ Joey Gallo, Minnesota’s Eddie Rosario and the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez.

“This has been an odd season for me so far -- not a lot of results -- but I’m doing what I can. I expected so much more, so I have been frustrated, for sure.”

Bruce, who is batting a career-low .183 with 22 RBIs in 29 games, continued his power surge in Cleveland. He has 10 homers in 175 at-bats, which is the seventh-highest ratio at the ballpark that opened in 1994.

Both of Bruce’s hits in the three-game series were home runs, giving him 297 to match Rickey Henderson and Mark Reynolds for 149th place all time. The former Reds and Mets slugger spent part of 2017 with the Indians, helping them win the AL Central title.

“I am confident here, but I’m not sure what it is,” he said. “It was nice to help the team out today.”

First things first

Mariners center fielder -- the franchise’s No. 11 prospect, per MLB Pipeline -- singled in the fourth for his first Major League hit, part of a two-hit, two-RBI day. A third-round pick by Seattle in 2015, Bishop was playing in his fifth game for the Mariners this season.

“First, you have to make it to the big leagues, but it kind of solidifies you when you get a hit under your belt,” the 25-year-old said. “I’ve worked a long time for this to happen.”

Bishop made his big league debut on March 21 against Oakland, but was sent to Triple-A Tacoma at the conclusion of the Japan Opening Series. He was recalled on April 30 when was optioned to the Rainiers.

“Braden is a great kid who works hard, and I’m really, really happy for him,” Bruce said. “My guess is, he’s got a lot more hits coming after this.”

Homer happy

Right fielder and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion joined Bruce in homering, giving Seattle an MLB-high 68 this season.

Seven of the Mariners’ 10 runs in the game came via the long ball, upping their season numbers to 104 runs off homers in 204 total tallies.

“There are some games where you’re not going to hit two to three homers, but we’ve done a pretty good job so far,” manager Scott Servais said.