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Bruce goes the other way to get his bat going

CINCINNATI -- Lost in Cincinnati's six-homer, 15-run explosion against Washington on Friday night were the two opposite-field doubles logged by struggling Jay Bruce.

The Reds' right fielder went into the game with one hit -- a double off the left-center-field wall on Wednesday -- and seven strikeouts in 13 at-bats. The left-handed batter was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts on Friday before doubling off the left-center-field wall in each of his last two at-bats.

Those kinds of hits usually indicate that a batter is keeping his head in and not pulling off the ball, which often is a sign that he's breaking out of a slump.

"Everything I've gotten has been to the opposite field," Bruce said before Saturday's game. "I feel fine. It's early."

Manager Dusty Baker learned a long time ago from former Dodgers outfielder Tommy Davis that going the other way can be an effective way to get a bat back on track.

"[Davis] won a couple of batting titles and an RBI title," Baker pointed out. "He told me that going to the off field is a good way to march your way back."

Bruce went 2-for-6 in Saturday's game to raise his average to .208.

Mark Schmetzer is a contributor to
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