Ben Revere smiles a lot, pretty much all the time. But the Twins found out on Thursday: You don’t want to make him mad.
“I was ticked,” Minnesota’s ex- center fielder said about a spectacular highlight that he failed to pull off, a diving attempt at a ball that bounced pass him and gave the Twins a lead. “I was so ticked. But that was good.”
Good for the Phillies, sure. Because an angry Revere basically turned into a one-man rally the next chance he got, sliding home with the winning run in a 3-2 victory over the Twins at Target Field.
“That’s the best game I’ve seen him play. Without a doubt, it’s the best he’s hit the ball, it’s the best he’s run,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of the former Twins first-round pick, who was traded away last December for a pair of pitchers. “His speed definitely was a factor.”
It was practically the only factor that mattered in the eighth inning, when the Twins clung to a 2-1 lead despite going down 1-2-3 seven times on the night. In a bizarre game, Kevin Correia kept putting runners on base — the Phillies put runners in scoring position in four of the five innings Correia pitched — but then wriggling out of trouble, while Cliff Lee retired 18 of the first 19 hitters he faced in protecting his 1-0 lead.
“I felt like he was out there for three minutes an inning, and I was out there for 30 minutes an inning,” Correia said. “A little bit different way to do it.”
But after a walk and an infield hit in the seventh inning — the hit was a gift, by the way, a missed call by first-base umpire Gary Darling — he gave up a sinking line drive to Justin Morneau that Revere thought he could get to.
“He made a helluva try,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We were all yelling, ‘Get down!’ “
It did, just off the end of Revere’s glove, and bounced to the wall for a shocking two-run double. Cliff Lee or no, the Twins — outhit 16-3 on the night — had the lead.
“He placed it perfect,” Revere said. “It’s kind of tough to play Morneau [because] he can pull it, he can go opposite field. He’s such a great hitter, you don’t know where to play. I tried my best to get there, just couldn’t do it.”
All it did was give him motivation to get the lead back. Revere, who racked up a career-high four hits and went 8-for-14 in his homecoming series, came to the plate against Jared Burton after pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen hit a leadoff double. His instructions were to bunt Frandsen to third.
He did more.
“I kind of saw that Burton falls off the mound a little bit, so I tried to place it” right behind him, said Revere, who beat out the bunt. A single by Michael Young tied the game and Revere raced to third. That’s where coach Ryne Sandberg told him to hold his ground if Jimmy Rollins hit a chopper.
“I was like, ‘I’m going, I don’t care. I’m going,’ “ Revere said. “[Sandberg] was like, ‘all right, OK.’ “
Sure enough, Rollins hit a two-bouncer that Morneau grabbed 10 feet in front of first base. But Revere was so fast, he beat Morneau’s throw, sliding across the plate safely.
“You have to [throw home]. You can’t let that guy score,” Gardenhire shrugged. “There’s really no other play. Ben just got a great jump. He was flying.”