It’s not often that a player simply hitting a home run is newsworthy, but Phillies outfielder Ben Revere has done it so rarely — in fact, never in 1,400 plate appearances entering the season — that it’s like seeing Halley’s Comet. Revere hit his first career home run on May 27 against the Rockies, a line drive off of lefty Boone Logan. The smash, 1,466 at-bats into Revere’s career, ended the longest homerless drought since Frank Tavares of the Pirates went 1,594 at-bats without going deep between 1972-77.
Revere did it again on Friday night against the Nationals, and it helped in a big way. The Phillies were down 5-0 after five innings and 7-2 after seven, but a two-run eighth and a two-run home run by Carlos Ruiz in the ninth brought them to within one run with Revere at the plate facing closer Rafael Soriano. With a 2-2 count, Soriano threw a breaking ball over the plate, and Revere lifted it in the air to right field, landing about five rows up in the stands above Jayson Werth for a game-tying solo home run.
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The game went into extra innings. Domonic Brown reached second base to lead off the 11th inning when Bryce Harper and Denard Span collided going after a fly ball to left-center. Brown was bunted over to third base and scored, on a bad throw home by first baseman Tyler Moore on a Maikel Franco ground ball, to put the Phillies up 8-7. Revere added an RBI single to make it 9-7, then stole second base for his 43rd base of the season… then was thrown out trying to steal third. Jonathan Papelbon allowed a run in the bottom half of the 11th but ultimately closed out the contest.
Revere finished the game 3-for-5 with a walk, an RBI single, a double, and the home run. He remains the National League leader in batting average at .316, two points ahead of Josh Harrison. Revere is also third in hits with 162 and third in stolen bases with 43. If he wins the batting title, he’ll be the first Phillie to have done so since Richie Ashburn in 1958.