Video: Jay Bruce makes franchise history with fourth home run

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It’s been an eventful four games for outfielder Jay Bruce since the Phillies acquired him from the Mariners on Sunday — so eventful, in fact, that he’s already wormed his way into the history books.

After recording three home runs in his first three games with the club, Bruce added a record-setting fourth home run during the Phillies’ series opener against the Reds on Friday. Working against a 1-0 deficit in the bottom of the fifth inning, Bruce lifted a first-pitch curveball from Tommy Mahle for a two-run homer, giving the Phillies their first lead of the night:

The blast traveled 380 feet into the left-field bleachers, marking Bruce’s fourth homer in Philadelphia and 18th on the year. According to Elias Sports Bureau, no other Phillies player in the Modern Era has managed four home runs in their first four games with the team.

The Phillies cemented their 4-2 win over the Reds with a run-scoring error and force out in the fifth and eighth innings, respectively. With the win, they improved to 36-27 in the NL East and continue to maintain a two-game lead over the Braves for first place.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.