Bruce records 1,000th hit during 13-pitch AB
Outfielder becomes sixth player in Reds history to reach milestone along with 200 homers
CINCINNATI -- Reds right fielder Jay Bruce definitely had to put in some extra work in the at-bat for his 1,000th career hit.
In the second inning vs. Jeff Locke during the Reds' 3-1 victory over the Pirates on Monday, Bruce battled for 13 pitches before he lined a single to right field.
"It was a fun at-bat, now that it's over and I got a hit," Bruce said. "It was a good one to get a hit on. I've faced Jeff a lot the last couple of years. You have an idea of what he's going to do to you, and you try to stay with your strengths, and I was able to stick it out long enough to get a pitch I could put the barrel on."
With Brandon Phillips on first base, Bruce was in a 2-1 count to Locke before he fouled off the next nine pitches. While several of the offerings were fastballs from Locke, the left-hander mixed in some offspeed as well. But Bruce stayed alive. On the 13th pitch, Bruce saw a 93-mph fastball and hit it sharply into right field. According to ESPN stats and info, it tied the Major League high this season for most pitches in an at-bat that resulted in a hit.
Cincinnati went on to score three runs in the inning to take a 3-0 lead. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Bruce became the 1,279th Major Leaguer to notch 1,000 hits.
"It's neat. He's an iconic player here," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Everybody loves him. He's a homegrown kid. He's a guy that's always been a part of the middle of the order here ever since he came up back in '08. He plays the game hard, he plays it the right way and he loves being a Red."
Bruce, 28, became the 33rd player in team history to record 1,000 hits, but just the sixth player to have 1,000 career hits and 200 home runs while playing for the Reds. His 200th homer came on Aug. 10 at San Diego.
The others to accomplish both feats in the franchise's history are Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ted Kluszewski and George Foster.
"I've been fortunate to have been around this long, long enough to get a thousand hits. Honestly, I haven't really thought a whole lot about it, other than when it happened," Bruce said. "There's a lot of people without a thousand hits. There's also a few people with quadruple the hits I have. I'm right there in the middle somewhere.
"For every hit to have been with the Reds is awesome, too. It's something I definitely don't take for granted."