Twins' latest additions are a hit

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 7, 2011 - 11:05 AM

Back in the majors for the first time this year, Trevor Plouffe and Ben Revere helped spark the Twins offense.

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BOSTON - Twins outfielder Ben Revere was asked Friday how his time as a September call-up last year prepared him for his recent jump from Class AAA Rochester to the majors.

"It's the same game pretty much," he said. "Nicer stadiums, nicer crowds, but it's 90 feet [between bases] and 60 feet, 6 inches" from the mound to home plate.

Sure, that's the right concept. But no other baseball venue prepares you to play left field in front of Fenway Park's Green Monster. And few pitchers can prepare you to face Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

These are among the adjustments the Twins need to make, already having promoted 10 players from Rochester.

Seeing their first big-league action of the season, Revere and Trevor Plouffe handled the nuances just fine Friday night, as the Twins pounded Wakefield en route to a 9-2 victory.

Scott Baker (2-2) held Boston to two runs in eight innings, with one walk and eight strikeouts, as the Twins won their third consecutive game, matching their longest winning streak.

"A nice night for us coming off a day off," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, whose team hadn't won at Fenway Park since Sept. 30, 2007. "Guys looked relaxed out there."

That included Plouffe, who has a chance to establish himself as an everyday shortstop. Batting second in the first inning, he delivered a tone-setter, homering over the Monster off Wakefield.

It was Plouffe's seventh career major league hit at that point; three were home runs. Plouffe finished 2-for-4 with a stolen base and three runs scored. He also looked very smooth defensively.

"He knows there's a challenge here to step up and lead the infield, and he accepted it," Gardenhire said. "He told me during [batting practice], he was fired up and ready to go. Different look in his eyes. He wasn't backing away."

Revere singled and scored in the second inning, as the Twins built a 4-0 lead.

"We're fortunate to face [Wakefield] in spring training every year," Plouffe said. "If I would have went out there blind against him, it might have been a little more difficult."

Wakefield committed a balk that scored Revere in the second inning -- Boston manager Terry Francona protested and was ejected -- and Red Sox reliever Alfredo Aceves balked home Plouffe in the sixth.

Revere and Plouffe were part of a rarity. According to Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index, it was the first time since July 17, 1992, that a team scored two runs on balks in the same game. In a 12-4 victory over the Yankees, the Angels scored twice via balks by New York reliever Rich Monteleone.

Between the balks, Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie's two-run error in the sixth inning and Denard Span's two-out, two-run single that snuck through the Boston infield in the second, the Twins felt as if they finally got some breaks.

"Some of those have to happen once in a while," Gardenhire said.

Indeed. This marked only the second time in 30 games this season that the Twins had scored more than five runs.

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