Red-hot Brown now leads NL in homers

Phillies' Domonic Brown congratulates Erik Kratz after he scored on a Freddy Galvis triple in the first inning. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Phillies' Domonic Brown congratulates Erik Kratz after he scored on a Freddy Galvis triple in the first inning. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 04, 2013

Two weeks ago Sunday, Domonic Brown left Citizens Bank Park hitting .243 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs after going hitless in four at-bats against Cincinnati.

Nobody could see this coming.

Brown's hot streak continued Sunday when he went 3 for 3 with four RBIs and fell a double short of hitting for the cycle for the first time in his career.

Brown's three-run home run in the first inning triggered the Phillies' 7-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The homer was the eighth in as many games for Brown, whose league-leading total stands at 16.

In his last 13 games, he is hitting .400 (20 for 50) with nine home runs and 20 RBIs, raising his overall average to .282.

Brown went to the plate in the seventh needing a double to hit for the cycle, but instead drew a walk.

"I heard the fans chirping about a little bit," Brown said. "Then I thought about it a little bit, but if I had a chance to go on a ball hit in the gap, I'm going for three for sure."

Brown said he has been this hot before, but certainly not at the major-league level.

"Yeah, I've had some stretches where I've gone pretty good," he said. "I'm just trying to keep it going and I'm trying to continue to improve. I'm trying to keep my stroke small and not trying to do too much and I think I'll be fine."

Pap's illness

Jonathan Papelbon wasn't available to close out the game in the ninth inning because he was sick. Papelbon also missed a couple of days in spring training because of illness.

Were the illnesses related?

"I'm concerned about our closer any time that he's sick," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We're supposed to have the best doctors in the world and they are definitely looking at him. Hopefully we can get him well as soon as possible."

Manuel said Papelbon started feeling ill Saturday. The manager also had a similar illness recently.

"I felt real bad," Manuel said. "I had a lot of congestion and my head and my stomach were killing me."

Michael Young's return

After missing the first five games of the homestand while on the bereavement list, Manuel indicated that third baseman Michael Young will return Monday when the Phillies open a three-game series against the Miami Marlins.

Kendrick's top fan

Father's Day is two weeks away but the Phillies will be on the road in Colorado, so they held their annual lottery to fly in a player's father a little early.

Kyle Kendrick was the winner and his father, Maury, was flown in from Washington state.

"This is the first time I've seen him since January," Maury Kendrick said. "I was planning to go to Colorado or San Diego or L.A., but this happened. I got the e-mail from the Phillies and I was in tears, honestly."

The father said he is not shocked by the success his son has had dating back to last season. Kyle Kendrick is 14-7 with a 2.92 ERA since July 1 of last season.

"A lot of people didn't believe that this would happen, but I did," Maury Kendrick said. "He's had a lot of ups and downs, obviously. And he's stayed within himself and worked hard and started the development of his secondary pitches. And obviously the change-up is the big one. So, you know, just believing in himself and knowing this would happen. I think Kyle has always known this is where he was going to end up and I think he still has an upside to him. Just because of the work ethic."

Extra bases

Outfielder Kelly Dugan and lefthander Yoel Mecias were named the Phillies' minor-league player and pitcher of the month for May. Dugan, the Phillies' first pick in the 2009 draft, batted .314 with a .963 OPS at high-A Clearwater. Mecias, a native of Venezuela, went 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA in six starts with low-A Lakewood. He struck out 37 batters in 30 innings. . . . Righthander Carlos Zambrano pitched six scoreless innings for single-A Clearwater against Toronto's Dunedin affiliate. He allowed four hits, walked two and struck out three. He has not allowed a run in two starts and 101/3 innings at Clearwater.

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