Twins right fielder Ben Revere left Pittsburgh without a hit, going 0-for-12 with just one walk in the three-game series against the Pirates. Dating back to the team’s final game against Milwaukee, Revere was 0-for his last 15 prior to Friday.
He snapped out of that funk quickly Friday in Cincinnati. Revere went 4-for-4 to help spark Minnesota to a series-opening 5-4 win over the Reds.
“I just got out of Pittsburgh,” Revere said of the difference from last series. “It seems like I couldn’t find a hit there. It was just one of those little small slumps, but (manager Ron) Gardenhire came up to me and he said, ‘Keep swinging.’ …
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“I just came in here like an angry dog, ready to get rolling again. Luckily everything worked out.”
And Revere broke out of his slump with 20 family and friends in attendance at Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati is just over an hour away from his hometown of Lexington, Ky., so he had plenty of people at the park keeping an eye on him.
“I just saw great pitches and put the bat on the ball and found a hole,” Revere said after Friday’s win. “To do it in front of everybody, it’s real big. I know my grandma’s real happy right now.”
The four hits for Revere tied a career high, which he set Sept. 20 of last season against Seattle. The two stolen bases tied a season high, as he also swiped two bags on June 8 against the Cubs. Revere raised his average to .320 and he now has 15 multi-hit games this year.
“I told him to keep playing, because he’s fun to watch,” Gardenhire said of Revere. “I told him, “Just be yourself and keep doing what you’re doing. I don’t want you to start changing and trying to do this and that and try to do too much, because he’s playing really well. He’s playing good baseball. The kid got his hits on his own. I didn’t help him a bit. I just want him to be himself because he’s a good player.”
Revere’s first hit and stolen base Friday didn’t yield a run. He singled with one out in the first inning and then stole second base for his 13th steal of the season. But Josh Willingham grounded out and Justin Morneau struck out swinging to strand Revere at second.
The second time Revere reached base, he was rewarded with a run. With one out in the third inning, Revere singled to shortstop Zack Cozart, the first of his two infield hits on the evening. Cozart’s throw to first base went into the stands, allowing Revere to advance to second. Then, with Willingham at the plate, Revere stole third base standing up. He eventually crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Willingham for the Twins’ second run of the game to tie it at 2-2.
Revere once again singled in the fifth inning, this time with two outs on a base hit to right field. But he was stranded at third base after Trevor Plouffe grounded out with the bases loaded and two outs.
The only plate appearance in which Revere didn’t record a hit still resulted in an RBI. His sacrifice fly in the sixth inning drove in Jamey Carroll from third to put the Twins up 5-4, which proved to be the final score.
For good measure, Revere added one more hit in the top of the ninth inning by reaching on his second infield single, this time on a grounder to third base that got away from third baseman Scott Rolen. Revere was once again stranded at third to end the inning, but his four hits, two steals and one sacrifice fly played a big role in helping Minnesota open the three-game series with a victory over the Reds.
“I’m just glad we got the win. That was big,” Revere said. “We just had a good, all-around team victory. I wouldn’t care if I went 0-for. As long as we got the win, I was happy about it.”