Thursday, February 11, 2016

For one night, Ben Revere shines

For one night, Ben Revere fulfilled the Phillies' expectations for him. He batted atop the lineup, created energy with his bat and legs, and made plays happen.

For one night, Ben Revere shines

Phillies center fielder Ben Revere. (Genevieve Ross/AP)
Phillies center fielder Ben Revere. (Genevieve Ross/AP)

DENVER — Ben Revere called it "fun." Charlie Manuel went beyond that.

"That's the best game I've seen him play," Manuel said. "That's the best game I've seen him play so far, without a doubt."

For one night, Revere fulfilled the Phillies' expectations for him in a 3-2 victory over Minnesota. He batted atop the lineup Thursday, created energy with his bat and legs, and made plays happen. He had four hits, which tied a career high, including his hardest-hit ball of the season that landed as a triple to deep right-center.

Revere's .266 batting average is the highest it has been in 2013. Because he does not walk much or hit for power, his production is fueled by a high batting average. It needs to be higher, of course, but this represents a start.

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The centerfielder is 9 for his last 18. A return to Target Field ignited him.

"It was good to see old faces," Revere said. "I'm trying my best. I'm trying to get on base as much as I can to get my rhythm back."

When Justin Morneau drove a Cliff Lee cutter to center, Revere ran the right route. He dove and missed the ball by inches. "Ben almost made a great play on it," Lee said.

"Perfect placement," Revere said. "I was ticked."

Kevin Frandsen led off the eighth inning with a key pinch-hit double. Revere bunted to move Frandsen, but the ball was placed so well that Revere beat it for a hit. That changed the dynamic of the inning.

"Ben’s bunt was something needed for us," Frandsen said. "Something good. It was a good sac bunt and he beat it out. That was a big positive for us. I’m on third, but now it’s first and third, that changes the whole thing.

"We’ve waited too much for something to happen, and we created it right there. And it was good."

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