Twins Daily: Revere's clutch hits make up for Capps' blown save
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CLEVELAND -- Ben Revere made up for Matt Capps' blown save in the ninth inning by slapping a game-winning, RBI single in the 10th, giving the Minnesota Twins a 3-2 win and series victory over the Cleveland Indians.
A blown save by Capps with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning was only a blip on the radar.
The Twins answered immediately with a two-out double by Drew Butera and the eventual game-winning, RBI single by Revere -- his third hit of the day -- to put the Indians away, 3-2.
Carl Pavano's gem kept the Twins in control throughout most of the afternoon. The right-hander allowed only one earned run on seven hits and a walk in seven innings while striking out three.
In to preserve a 2-1 lead, Capps retired Matt Laporta and Cord Phelps to start the ninth, and it looked as if the Twins were all set to shake hands.
But former University of Minnesota standout Jack Hannahan had other plans, taking Capps deep to right-center on a 2-1 fastball that hovered right down the middle of the plate.
With the victory, the Twins have now won six out of seven while cutting Cleveland's division lead from 16.5 to 11.5 in less than a week.
"In all honesty, we're trying not to look at all those nambers, because if you start mixing and matching numbers and saying they have to do this, it gets ridiculous," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're just trying to win -- win a ballgame each day. That's all we're doing. We're just taking the game in hand and trying to win it and see where you end up at the All-Star break. That's probably our best route. You can't start looking at numbers, because it's ridiculous how far we've put ourselves in the hole."
But after getting ahead of Butera 1-2, the right-hander ran the count full and left a fastball over the plate, allowing the catcher to lace one into the left-field corner.
Butera slid into second base with a double, bringing the red-hot Revere to the plate. Revere whacked a 3-1 fastball into left-center field to score Butera and put the Twins up 3-2.
"In my last at-bat against (Indians starter Justin) Masterson, 2-0 (count), I swung when it would have been ball three, and I got out," said Revere, who finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs, a run, one stolen bases and one caught stealing. "There were two outs (against Perez), and you're just looking for a ball you can drive, and luckily he threw it belt-high."
With his big day at the plate, Revere is now hitting .302/.323/.317 on the season.
10: Groundball outs for Pavano, who has lowed his ERA from 6.64 on May 8 to 4.54 after Wednesday's start. "I'm definitely feeling more consistent," Pavano said. "I mean, there's always something that you can work on, something you can improve, something you can be more consistent at. That's my approach. But I'm feeling better, and I think the results are showing that. I think everything, just my changeup -- I had lost it for a while, and I think my arm strength is getting better, so there's a little more of a difference between my fastball and my changeup. I think that's made the biggest difference."
2: The number of two-out, RBI hits for the Twins on Wednesday -- Revere's single in the third inning, and Morneau's double in the sixth.
5: Blown saves for Capps.
1: Career saves for left-hander Phil Dumatrait, who pitched a scoreless 10th to lock down the win. "It's awesome," said Dumatrait, who kept the baseball from the final out. "I never really envisioned that it would ever happen."
32: Days between hits for Indians catcher Lou Marson, who snapped an 0-for-20 skid with a single in the seventh inning.
Sept. 19: The date of a makeup game between the Twins and Yankees in New York (noon), which will atone for an April 6 rainout.
"I'm sure going to make an effort. I like to see him in there, I like to see the way he's playing, I like his enthusiasm and speed. It all depends on how other people are doing, but I'm going to definitely try to use him. I like him, even if it's off the bench, pinch hitting and running and stuff like that. I definitely like him."
-- Gardenhire on whether he will continue to play Revere on a regular basis when Denard Span, Jason Kubel and Jim Thome return.
• Span was scheduled to visit with doctors in Minneapolis about his neck soreness and dizziness -- symptoms that seemed very similar, Span said, to the ones that sidelined him for two weeks in 2009.
• C Joe Mauer (leg weakness, general soreness) was scheduled to catch between six and nine innings on Wednesday for Single-A Fort Myers. Gardenhire said "there's a possibility" Mauer will eventually take his rehab stint to Rochester, "and that's all depending on how he's feeling and everything, but there's a chance he could end up (there). I'm sure Rochester's hoping, New Britain's hoping, and there's a lot of people hoping that he goes there."
• 1B Justin Morneau continues to play through a pinched nerve in his neck, as well as left wrist soreness. "He's been run through the mill, and he's really, really, really playing beat up," Gardenhire said. "But he also realizes the situation we're in, that he knows he needs to be out there for this team, and it's been real hard on him. I check with him pretty much every day on how we're doing, and he gives you the same answer; 'It is what it is.' So as a manager you definitely have a lot of respect for him. I always have. He's playing with a lot. There's days when you finally have to say, like in Kansas City, you have to take a couple days. His wrist was swollen, and we know the neck thing, and you just tell him 'you're sitting right here, and that's just the way it's going to be.' But we got here and he's ready to go again. He said, 'I'm good.' That's what you have with him. He's going to go out there and play."
After going 6-4 on this recent 10-game road trip, the Twins will return home Thursday to begin a four-game series against the Texas Rangers (7:10 p.m., 1500 ESPN), marking the beginning of a stretch where the Twins will play 30 of 40 games at Target Field.
Right-hander Blackburn (5-4, 3.57), coming off some minor back troubles that stemmed from his last outing against Kansas City, will make his regularly scheduled start against Rangers left-hander Derek Holland (5-1, 4.36).
Blackburn is having perhaps the best season of his career so far, with help from a career-high 52% groundball rate. Since giving up five earned runs in three straight starts at the end of April, Blackburn has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his last seven outings.
Blackburn will face a Rangers lineup that ranks among the best in baseball -- 72 home runs (2nd in MLB), 63 stolen bases (1st), 16.9% strikeouts (fewest) and a .431 team slugging percentage (3rd).
• Friday: vs. Texas, 7:10 p.m. LHP Brian Duensing (3-5, 4.73) vs. LHP C.J. Wilson (6-3, 3.03).
• Saturday: vs. Texas, 3:10 p.m. RHP Scott Baker (3-4, 3.86) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (5-5, 4.37).
• Sunday: vs. Texas, 1:10 p.m. LHP Francisco Liriano (3-6, 5.20) vs. LHP Matt Harrison (5-5, 3.48).