MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins loved Ben Revere when he was in Minnesota. They probably don’t care very much for him now that he’s in Philadelphia — especially when he keys a win over his former team.
Revere was 4-for-6 in Thursday’s series finale at his old stomping grounds of Target Field as his new Phillies team topped Minnesota by a 3-2 final.
Batting leadoff for the first time this series, Revere got on base with the first of his four hits in the first inning. After his single to right field opened the game, Revere stole his 15th base of the season as he took off for second base. But he would be stranded at third as one of 16 Phillies runners left on base Thursday.
Three innings later, Revere collected his third hit of the game on a two-out triple that reached the gap in right-center field. It was just his second triple of the season and it gave the Phillies a scoring chance against Twins starter Kevin Correia. But once again, Revere was left at third after Michael Young grounded out to end the inning.
Revere’s fourth and final hit of the night turned out to be a big one. He laid down a bunt that catcher Joe Mauer fielded but couldn’t get the speedy Revere at first. The bunt single moved Humberto Quintero to third after his leadoff double.
Quintero came around to score on Michael Young’s single to right, which moved Revere to third. One batter later, Revere scored the go-ahead run on a chopper to first baseman Justin Morneau. As Revere sprinted for home, Morneau fired to Mauer at the plate. But Revere beat the throw to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead.
“I think he has to (throw home),” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Morneau. “You can’t let that guy score. We’re playing in, and he’s holding the guy on. Really, there’s not any other play. He could try to tag the runner or something, but he’s got to try to get the guy at home. Ben just got a great jump. He was flying.”
Revere became a fan favorite in Minnesota by making numerous highlight-reel catches in the outfield. He nearly had another one Thursday that likely gave Twins fans flashbacks.
Revere sprinted toward the gap on Justin Morneau’s sinking line drive in the bottom of the seventh inning with runners on first and second and two outs. Like he had done here so many times before, Revere dove and extended his glove to try and make the grab. This time, however, the ball got past him and rolled into the gap. Morneau reached with a double that scored Joe Mauer from second and Ryan Doumit from first.
At the time, that miscue by Revere gave the Twins a 2-1 lead.
“He made a hell of a try,” Gardenhire said. “He was flying across there. We were all yelling, ‘Get down.’ That’s about the most damage you could do against that guy tonight. He was really, really good. That was a big play.”
Added Revere: “I tried my best on that Morneau hit. Perfect placement. I was ticked.”
He wasn’t mad for long, though. Revere ultimately helped the Phillies rally just one inning after Morneau’s line drive landed out of his reach as Philadelphia left town with a win.
Minnesota has now faced two of its former center fielders over the last two interleague series. This past weekend, the Twins saw Denard Span while in Washington. Span was traded this offseason to the Nationals for pitching prospect Alex Meyer. In the weekend series against Minnesota, Span was 4-for-9 with a walk and a triple as the Nationals took two of three from the Twins.
A few days later, Revere had similar success against the team that traded him to the Phillies for Vance Worley and prospect Trevor May. Including Thursday’s four-hit night, Revere finished the three-game series at Target Field by going 8-for-14 with three runs scored.
“It’s a little different,” Gardenhire said of facing Span and Revere. “Seeing Span Man over there, talking to him, getting a chance to talk to him, he said it’s different. He likes it, but it’s different. I haven’t got a chance to talk to Benny. I saw him up towards home plate. Same guy, always has a smile on his face, going out there running around. He plays the game hard.”
Revere leaves town on a high note, having scored the winning run in Thursday’s win. Still, his Phillies won just one of three against his old team and are now 32-35 o the season.
“That was a good team victory,” Revere said. “That was fun. It was good to come back to Target Field, to see old faces.”