When both are hot, Cincinnati is awfully difficult to stop.
Bruce, who has homered in three straight games, looks to help the Reds post their fifth winning streak of at least six games this season Thursday night while completing their second consecutive sweep of the New York Mets.
Scott Rolen and Todd Frazier hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning Wednesday and Bruce later added a solo shot as the Reds (71-46) cruised past the Mets 6-1. Mike Leake pitched a four-hitter for Cincinnati, which has won at least five straight for the fourth time since early July and is 21-8 since All-Star first baseman Joey Votto was forced out of the lineup with a left knee injury.
Frazier's home run may have been the most impressive Wednesday. It traveled 474 feet, the 10th-longest in the 10-year history of Great American Ball Park.
"I've hit some to left field that went pretty far, but nothing like that," said Frazier, batting .565 (13 for 23) with two homers, three doubles and seven RBIs in his last six games. "It felt pretty good."
Bruce, whose three-run homer in the ninth inning Tuesday gave the Reds a 3-0 victory, went deep in four consecutive games April 26-29. If he homers Thursday, he will become the first Cincinnati player with a pair of four-game home run streaks in the same season since Johnny Bench in 1972.
The Reds have allowed a total of three runs in four games since Homer Bailey (10-7, 4.08 ERA) last took the mound. The right-hander, though, has given up 14 runs and 27 hits in 14 innings over his last three starts.
Bailey did get credit for the first victory of Cincinnati's current streak - a 10-8 win over the Cubs on Friday - but he didn't pitch particularly well, yielding four runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Bailey turned in one of his finer efforts of the year June 16 against the Mets, limiting them to one run over eight innings of a 4-1 victory for his first win in three career outings versus New York.
Mets third baseman David Wright is 0 for 6 in this week's series, but he's 5 for 9 with a double lifetime against Bailey.
The Mets (55-62) are all too familiar with what the NL Central-leading Reds can do, having been outscored 23-6 during a five-game losing streak in the series including a three-game sweep June 15-17. New York hasn't plated more than three runs in any of those contests, and has totaled 10 runs while dropping four of five overall.
"I didn't think our offense would have a hard time scoring," manager Terry Collins said. "We haven't done much lately, maybe it's time for some breaks for some guys. It will be someone in my lineups for sure. You see some swings in some counts you wonder about."
Collins will give the ball to 23-year-old rookie Matt Harvey (1-3, 3.63) for the series finale. The 2010 first-round draft pick has dropped three straight starts since winning his major league debut July 26 at Arizona. He issued five walks in Friday's 4-0 loss to Atlanta, allowing two runs over six innings.
- Cincinnati Reds
- Jay Bruce
- Todd Frazier