Hunter Pence was trying to draw attention to Jay Bruce's new digs.

"Check those out," the Houston Astros outfielder said, holding up Bruce's neon pink and blue Nike batting gloves for a camera shot.

"They're the same batting gloves, just with a different print on them," Bruce said. "They were in my locker, so I just put 'em on."

First time for everything.

For Bruce, the Reds right fielder, the trip to the desert marked his first All-Star game selection. At the midway point in the season, Bruce is hitting .268 with 21 home runs and 57 RBI. He is fourth in the National League in homers.

"It's humbling," Bruce said of his first mid-summer classic. "It's great to be on the field with my team and all these guys. It's been great so far. I'm enjoying every second of it."

Bruce joined second-time All-Star Reds teammates Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips and seven-time selection Scott Rolen, who replaced Atlanta's Chipper Jones.

"Some All-Star veterans," Bruce said of his three Reds teammates. "For them to be able to experience this with me or me to be able to experience this with them, it's just a lot of fun.

"I talked to them a little bit about it, but you have to experience all this stuff on your own. You have to take it in, and just enjoy every second of it."

Bruce was doing just that.

"First time I saw him all day was when we were taking batting practice," Phillips said laughing. "Everybody is doing different things."

Bruce belted two straight bombs to right field over the 376-foot wall in Chase Field during batting practice, drawing the praise of his onlookers. He cranked another shot to right, showing off his power from the left side of the plate.