April showers have brought May flowers for Jay Bruce.
BruceThe Cincinnati Reds slugger Sunday hit his National League-leading 15th home run of the season and his 11th homer in May, which ties Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays for the most during the month this season.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 11 home runs in May are the most by a Reds player in a single calendar month since Adam Dunn hit 12 in July 2008.
Bruce ended the month of April struggling with four home runs, 11 RBI and a .237 batting average, which ranked 135th in MLB among players with at least 75 plate appearances.
This month has seen a completely different story. He’s hitting .330 with 11 HR and 29 RBI. In his previous two years in May, Bruce had just a .239 batting average with 12 homers and 30 RBI over 57 games.
So what’s been the difference? According to Inside Edge, Bruce is getting aggressive and taking advantage of fastballs. In the month of April, Bruce had a slugging percentage of .364 on at-bats that ended on the first pitch. That is up to .778 this month.
On at-bats that ended on the fastball, Bruce hit .254 during the month of April. That was below the MLB average of .285 in the situation. This month, he’s increased that to .344 and his slugging percentage is at .889.
But Bruce wasn’t the only “Jay” that had a strong Sunday.
• The Toronto Blue Jays scored 13 runs, including a six-run first inning as they clubbed the White Sox 13-4.
• Jon Jay of the St. Louis Cardinals and John Jaso of the Tampa Bay Rays each hit their eighth career home run. Alphabetically, those two are next to each other on the active player list. It was the first time they've gone deep on the same day.