Twins outfielder Ben Revere was never going to catch Angels rookie Mike Trout for the American League batting title, but he did regain the lead among all Minnesota hitters with a four-hit performance Sunday against Texas.
After going 4-for-4 in Minnesota’s 6-5 win Sunday, Revere improved his season batting average to .315. He was hitting .307 entering Sunday’s series finale in Arlington.
In doing so, Revere regained the lead for top average on the team by surpassing catcher Joe Mauer, who went 1-for-5 Sunday to drop his average to .312. Mauer, a three-time batting champion, was hitting a team-high .313 prior to Sunday.
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Revere’s biggest hit of the day Sunday was an RBI triple that scored center fielder Denard Span with two outs to give Minnesota a 6-2 lead. It was Revere’s fifth triple of the season, and he had no problem reaching third base after lining a hit down the right field line that rolled to the wall.
“I tried to put everything in play,” Revere said. “. . . With my speed and everything, my game, I’ve just got to put the ball in play and make the defense hurry up and panic.”
Revere scored three of Minnesota’s six runs on Sunday. He avoided getting caught in a rundown in the top of the third inning when Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre dropped the ball while trying to tag Revere. The speedy Revere reached third base safely and later scored on a sacrifice fly to shallow left field by Justin Morneau. One of Revere’s four hits was a bunt single in the top of the fifth inning that moved Denard Span to second base. Span eventually scored on a Joe Mauer single, and Revere came around to score on a single by Trevor Plouffe. Revere and Span combined to score five of Minnesota’s six runs Sunday.
The four-hit game wasn’t Revere’s only highlight of the weekend. He stole a base in Saturday’s loss — his 30th steal of the season. Revere has now reached 30 stolen bases in back-to-back seasons after he set the Twins’ rookie record with 34 steals last year. Revere became the fourth player in Minnesota’s franchise history with consecutive 30-steal seasons. He joins an elite club that also includes Chuck Knoblauch, Rod Carew and Cesar Tovar.
Along with his 30 steals this year, Revere has yet to hit a home run. In fact, he has not cleared the fences at all in 918 career plate appearances. If he finishes the 2012 season without a homer, he’ll be the first player since Otis Nixon in 1994-95 with Boston and Texas to have consecutive 30-steal seasons without a home run.
If Revere continues to bat .315 and steal 30 bases a season, the Twins won’t need him to hit home runs.
Gibson pitches for Triple-A Rochester: Twins pitching prospect Kyle Gibson, currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery last season, made his first start this season for Triple-A Rochester. In three innings of work, Gibson allowed four earned runs on six hits while striking out five batters.
Prior to pitching Saturday for the Red Wings, Gibson appeared in nine games (seven starts) for the Twins’ Gulf Coast League team and two games for High-A Fort Myers. In his two starts for the Miracle, Gibson posted a 2.57 ERA in seven total innings.
Gibson was Minnesota’s first-round pick in the 2009 draft (22nd overall). He pitched for Rochester last season but made just 18 starts before experiencing elbow issues. He eventually underwent Tommy John surgery, which cost him the nearly entire 2012 season.
Vargas earns minor league honors: Infielder Kenny Vargas, currently with Low-A Beloit, was named the Twins’ Minor League Player of the Week for this past week.
The 22-year-old Vargas went 12-for-28 (.429) with a double, a home run and five RBI in seven games for the Snappers. Originally from Puerto Rico, Vargas signed with the Twins as a free agent in 2009. In 33 games this season with Beloit, Vargas is batting .306 while slugging a team-best .637. He’s hit 11 home runs and driven in 30 runs in 258 at-bats — numbers made more incredible by the fact that Vargas didn’t play for the Snappers until late July after serving a 50-game suspension.