PHILADELPHIA - Ben Revere blooped a hit to center field in the second inning Friday night.
The Phillies center fielder used his speed to reach second base. For most other Phillies, the hit would have been a single. Revere later scored as the Phillies began a pivotal 10-game homestand with a 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves.
That is the player the Phillies thought they were getting when they traded with the Minnesota Twins for Revere in the offseason.
It was not the player the Phillies saw early in the season. But after a slow start, the 25-year-old Revere has transformed his game.
"I'm just finding my hits, finally," Revere said. "I've been doing the same exact thing. I'm just finding the right holes, hopefully I can keep that going."
Revere batted .200 in April (19-for-90). Phillies fans bemoaned his lack of power and questioned the trade. Revere hasn't hit a home run in 1,272 career atbats.
He didn't offset his power by getting on base. His April on-base percentage was an anemic .234.
But Revere hit .312 (24-for-77) in May, .354 (35-for-99) in June and began Saturday batting .353 (6-for-17) in July.
He has had multiple hits in 20 of his last 53 games. Revere leads the team in batting at .293 with a .331 on-base percentage.
The only center fielder with a better batting average than Revere since May 1 is Millville's Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels.
"Ben is making consistent contact," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "Things are going good for him. He's gotten some big hits and knocked in some runs. He's definitely playing better."
Revere made his major-league debut with the Twins in 2010, playing in just 13 games. He appeared in 117 games for Minnesota in 2011 and 124 in 2012.
Revere said he had to adjust to the National League, especially since he had never faced most of the NL pitchers before.
"You have to see what the pitchers do," he said. "After a while, I kind of picked up on it and got a feel for it. It's been helpful."
Revere also admitted he might have been pressing at the start of the season. He might have been trying too hard to get the Philadelphia fans on his side.
"Philly has the best fans," he said with a smile. "I was trying to go out there and play my game, but it wasn't going the right way for me. It was either just fold or keep working hard, and I kept working hard."
Revere also worked on adjustments with Phillies hitting coaches Steve Henderson and Wally Joyner. Revere needed to get his plant foot down earlier. The bad timing affected his balance at the plate. He took countless swings off the indoor pitching machine.
"I was kind of slow getting my foot down early in the season," he said. "Then there were times I'd get my foot down and hit the ball (hard) right at people."
The Phillies traded starting pitcher Vance Worley and pitching prospect Trevor May last December.
When the trade was made, the Phillies projected Revere as a potential leadoff hitter. He is beginning to show signs that he can fulfill that role.
The Phillies are 15-12 in games that Revere scored.
Despite his speed, Revere sometimes struggles in the field. He takes curious routes to fly balls and has a weak throwing arm.
But Worley went 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA for the Twins this season and is back in the minor leagues.
The Revere trade is an offseason move that so far has worked in the Phillies' favor.
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