Taste of majors last year helped Revere

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 9, 2011 - 2:57 PM

The outfielder has shuttled between the Twins and Rochester, but he's becoming more productive of late.

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Minnesota Twins' Ben Revere

Photo: Elaine Thompson, Associated Press - Ap

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Ben Revere has hit .367 with five runs, one double, four RBI and two stolen bases while the Twins have won six of seven games since being swept by Detroit on their current road trip.

The outfielder and 2007 first-round draft choice drove in the game-winning run in the 10th inning Wednesday to beat Cleveland 3-2. Revere had two RBI and three hits in the game.

Revere has at least one hit in each of the Twins' seven games since his recall from Class AAA Rochester on June 2 and is hitting .302 this season.

Injuries to Jason Kubel, Delmon Young and Denard Span have given Revere his best chance to show what he could do if given an extended chance to play in the majors.

Revere made his 2011 debut with the Twins on May 6 after being called up to replace the injured Jason Repko and stayed with the club through May 22. In that span, Revere played in 15 games and hit .242 (8-for-33) with two runs scored and two stolen bases. Since being called up on June 2, after Young was placed on the DL, Revere has been much more productive at the plate.

Naturally, he hopes to stay with the club, but the Twins have a lot of outfielders.

But he didn't get too upset when he was sent down before, although they will have a hard time sending him down this time because of what he has recently accomplished.

"The major leagues is about everything," Revere said. "Going back down you know you're going back down to the minors, going back down to reality. Really, you know everybody doesn't want that. But besides that, it hasn't really been much difference. Of course, you're playing in front of larger crowds, you play in nice stadiums, traveling is a lot better. But besides that with me, you know you're going back to reality [when you go] back down to the minors, that's the only difference with me."

Last year helped

Revere, who is only 23, said his call-up from Class AA New Britain late last season made it easier to deal with going up and down this year.

"I went up in September [of 2010], it was the first time coming up here," Revere said. "But this year I've already been up here, already know what it's like, so really it hasn't been too much different for me. This is basically to me the same game -- [first] base is 90 feet away, it's 60 feet, 6 inches from the mound to home plate. It's the same old deal. Just go out there, just play my game, get on base for the big boys behind me so I can score some runs for them."

Revere stands 5-9 and weighs 170. When the Twins drafted him, there was some second-guessing because of his size and a weak throwing arm. But he says his size doesn't bother him.

"Luckily, the game of baseball doesn't really go by height-wise," the native of Lexington, Ky., said. "Baseball, you know, is my game. Really, I'm glad I'm short with all my speed and stuff. Besides that, my height doesn't really bother me. People make fun of my height, but it really doesn't bother me.

"My game is hitting ground balls, line drives, getting on base. If I start popping a bunch of stuff up, you know some of the coaches may get mad at me. ... My main game is just hit the ball on the ground and run.

"It's a little different [at the major-league level] and it's pretty nice. But really, I just love to play the game, that's it. The money [he gets a big raise by playing in the majors] doesn't really bother me too much right now. As long as I play my game, everything should work out for the best."

Maybe Revere can give the Twins some hope of getting back into the race for the American League Central Division title.

Jottings

Former Twins manager Tom Kelly always talks about how pitching is the most important thing, and that is the reason the Twins have won six of the past seven and advanced from 16 1/2 games behind Cleveland to 11 1/2. During that streak, Scott Baker has a 3.86 ERA, Nick Blackburn 3.60, Francisco Liriano, Anthony Swarzak and Brian Duensing 0.00 and Carl Pavano 1.68. ... The entire bullpen had a 0.00 ERA during that stretch except for closer Matt Capps, who has a 2.25 ERA. ... Two hitters got hot on the recent streak: Alexi Casilla batted .321 in those seven games and Matt Tolbert .363. ... It's worth noting that four of the five losses on the Twins' recent road trip were by one run.

Orlando Cabrera, who played for the Twins in 2009 and is now with Cleveland, is hitting .333 against the Twins this season. ... Ex-Gophers third baseman Jack Hanna- han is also with the Indians and hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning Wednesday. He is batting .267 against the Twins this season.

Gophers forward Trevor Mbakwe got some good news Tuesday when it was announced he is one of 22 college basketball players invited by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee to attend the World University Games training camp July 29 through Aug. 7 in Colorado Springs. The camp will be used to select 12 players who will represent the United States at the World University Games on August 13-23 in Shenzhen, China. After missing the entire Gophers season two years ago, a chance to play in the World Games would make Mbakwe a much improved player. ... Wisconsin standout and Benilde-St. Margaret's guard Jordan Taylor also will be attending the camp.

In addition to former Gopher Keith Ballard, another member of the Vancouver Canucks facing the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals is Andrew Alberts, who played on Benilde-St. Margaret's 1999 state championship team, according to Red Knights coach Ken Pauly. Alberts played in 42 games for Vancouver this year, but was hampered by injuries. He has played in only three playoff games this year, but he was a factor in the Canucks' 3-2 overtime victory over Boston and earned a great deal of praise by NHL analyst Mike Milbury. Ex-Gopher Justin Schroeder, who was a Vancouver first-round draft choice in 2009, spent the full season with the Canucks' Manitoba Moose team in the American Hockey League, but is not on the playoff roster.

Former Twins outfielder Lew Ford is playing with the Long Island Ducks in the independent Atlantic League. Ford spent last season in the Mexican League with Guerreros de Oaxaca and had previously played with the Ducks in 2009. Ford is hitting .240 with three home runs.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. • shartman@startribune.com

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