Jay Bruce is back.
The New York Mets sleep walked into town after a Sunday night, 5-1 win over the Washington Nationals.
Bruce has eight hits in his last five games after a slow start. He had eight hits in his previous 16 games with the Mets. Two of Bruce's hits in his last five games have been home runs. Bruce hit his 29th home run off former teammate Mat Latos on Sunday night.
Zack Cozart has been keeping an eye on his close friend. He's been in touch with Bruce since the August 31 trade.
"When you play six years with someone who is close to your age, you're going to be friends," Cozart said. "I'm excited to see him. I'm happy he his a homer off Latos. It's cool. I root for him all the time but against Latos it's really cool."
Bruce is in the Mets lineup on Monday against the Reds.
"The closer Jay got to Cincinnati, the hotter he got," Mets' manager Terry Collins said. "I want him to go across the way (to Reds clubhouse) and bring over the rest of his hits and home runs. If he's getting hot, he's getting hot at the right time."
Collins explained how Bruce fits into his lineup as the Mets trail the Cardinals by one game for the final Wild Card spot. "Bruce batting behind Cespedes is a great fit for us," Collins said. "There are not a lot of left-handers out there."