It’s been over a decade since the Minnesota Twins have had a player steal 40 bases. But speedy center fielder Ben Revere accomplished that feat in Monday’s 6-5 extra-innings loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
After leading off the seventh inning with a single to left field, Revere stole second base. It was his 40th steal of the season, as he became the first Twins player since Chuck Knoblauch in 1997 to swipe 40 bases in a year.
Revere stole his 40th base in his 122nd game of the year. Last season, Revere set a Twins rookie record with 34 stolen bases in 117 games.
The 24-year-old Revere had two seasons of 40 or more stolen bases while in the minor leagues. He swiped 44 bases in 2008 while with Low-A Beloit and then stole 45 bases a year later with High-A Fort Myers.
Mauer loses ground in batting title race: Twins catcher Joe Mauer entered Monday’s game against the Blue Jays in the thick of a batting title race. Mauer trailed Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera by just .002 prior to Monday.
But Mauer finished 1-for-5 against Toronto to lower his average to .322, while Cabrera went 4-for-5 with his American League-leading 44th home run to raise his average to an AL-best .329. Mauer is chasing his fourth career batting title, while Cabrera is looking for his second straight title after batting .344 last year.
Mauer’s lone hit Monday came on a two-out single in the top of the fifth inning. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he expects Mauer to play in the Twins’ two remaining games.
“He wants to be in there battling for it,” Gardenhire said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and see where we’re at tomorrow and go from there.”
Morneau, Doumit likely done: While Mauer is expected to play Tuesday and Wednesday, a few of the Twins’ other bats probably won’t be in the lineup in the remaining two games.
First baseman Justin Morneau and catcher/outfielder Ryan Doumit likely won’t play in the final two games, Gardenhire said after Monday’s loss. Doumit has a sore thumb, while the Twins want to ensure that Morneau ends the year healthy after missing the ends of the last three seasons due to injuries.
Prior to Monday, Morneau had played in 134 games, the most since he played in 135 games in 2009.
“I don’t think he’s going to get in the lineup,” Gardenhire said of Morneau. “. . . Morny, if I have to use him, I could put him out there, but it’s not a good situation. I’d rather not. Let him kind of finish it up here watching, maybe use him as a pinch hitter, I guess. He’s been through a lot. We’re not going to kill him anymore.”
The Twins are also without left fielder Josh Willingham, who is dealing with a sore left shoulder. Willingham hit a career-high 35 home runs and 110 RBI this season.
Vasquez can’t pick up first win as starter: Twins right-hander Esmerling Vasquez took the mound Monday for his sixth career start, all of which have come with Minnesota. But despite leaving Monday’s game with the lead, Vasquez could not pick up his first win as a starter as the Twins’ bullpen gave up the lead.
Vasquez went 5-2/3 innings, allowing three Blue Jays runs on six hits. He walked three batters while striking out just one. It was the fourth time in six starts that Vasquez lasted 5-2/3 innings. His longest outing with the Twins was six innings, which came last week against the Yankees.
After his offense gave him a 4-1 lead, Vasquez gave up two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run double by Jeff Mathis.
“He did a nice job, got us deep into the game,” Gardenhire said of Vasquez. “. . . He was spinning the ball. He had his changeup working, his fastball. He did a real nice job moving the ball in and out, gave us a great opportunity.”