Seattle Mariners

‘I definitely will look back and appreciate this moment.’ Jay Bruce hits 300th homer in Mariners win

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The Mariners changed a lot in the offseason. Watch as fans struggle mightily on opening day to name as many players as they can on the roster.

Seattle Mariners veteran Jay Bruce has had beer showers after baseball games before, but never for a personal achievement, he said, until Friday night at T-Mobile Park.

Following a narrow 4-3 win over the Angels, the Mariners gathered in the clubhouse, and hollered in celebration as they honored Bruce for hitting his 300th career home run during the seventh inning.

How was it?

“It’s good,” Bruce said. “Cold. Very cold. ... If you had told me I was going to hit my 300th homer playing first base for the Seattle Mariners, I probably would have called you crazy.

“But, you take what you can get, there’s no rhyme or reason. I’ve been welcomed by a great group of guys here, and guys that have made me part of this thing, and I appreciate that. I don’t take that stuff for granted because you move around a lot. This is my fourth team now. It’s been a good transition.”

Bruce gave the Mariners some needed insurance when they were leading 3-2 in the seventh, sending his milestone home run — his 14th of the season — to straightaway center to push the lead back to two runs. The 417-foot shot came moments after he nearly pulled a ball over the right-field fence, but it was just foul. Four innings earlier, he sent a warning-track shot to center.

“Jay’s been really good since he’s been here,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Good teammate, he’s really taken a number of players under his wing and even though he’s struggled at times, it’s nice to see him getting it going again. The home runs’ been there for him all year. It was there again tonight.”

When Bruce returned to the dugout, he was greeted with hugs from teammates. When the Mariners returned to the clubhouse after the win, he was gifted with the beer shower.

He was also given the lineup card, and said he hopes to get the ball back — he has Nos. 100 and 200 at home — but won’t think about the feat for too long, and will quickly get back to trying to produce a quality season.

“I don’t let myself take a lot of time to think about stuff like that,” Bruce said. “But, I definitely will look back and appreciate this moment for sure. I don’t take it for granted. I’m proud, but I tend to try to turn the page pretty quickly.”

Bruce also became the eighth active player in the majors to record at least 300 home runs and 300 doubles in his career, joining teammate Edwin Encarnacion, among others.

Lauren Smith covers the Seattle Mariners for The News Tribune. She previously covered high school sports at TNT and The Olympian, beginning in 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and Emerald Ridge High School.