With one swing, Brown powers Phillies to win

With one swing, Brown powers Phillies to win

June 26, 2013, 2:30 am
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Domonic Brown smashed his 20th homer of the year in the Phillies' 6-2 win. (USA Today Images)

SAN DIEGO -- Domonic Brown’s swing had been getting a little long, so before Tuesday night’s game manager Charlie Manuel reminded him to stay short and quick to the ball.
 
Manuel’s words stuck with Brown and in the third inning paid dividends. Brown smacked a three-run home run off Jason Marquis to give the Phillies the lead for good in a 6-2 win over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park (see Instant Replay).
 
“It had been a while,” said Brown, who had gone 14 games and 56 at-bats without a long ball.
 
His 20th of the season came on a four-RBI night and helped make a winner out of Kyle Kendrick. The right-hander delivered his 12th quality start of the season, holding the Padres to two runs and striking out six over eight walk-free innings.
 
“It was a good win for us, for sure,” said Kendrick, who is 7-4 with a 3.46 ERA.
 
After the way the last few days have gone, the Phillies needed something to feel good about.
 
They were manhandled by Matt Harvey in an 8-0 loss to the Mets on Sunday, had to fly cross-country after that game and blew a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning in losing 4-3 to the Padres on Monday night.
 
Before Tuesday night’s game, the Phils got another spoonful of negativity when it was learned that eighth-inning reliever Mike Adams is likely done for the season because of a shoulder injury (see story).
 
How the Phils will get through the eighth inning without Adams is a question for another day, perhaps Wednesday. In this game, Kendrick made sure no setup man was needed. He got the ball to Antonio Bastardo, who was asked to pitch the ninth while Jonathan Papelbon was held back in a non-save situation.
 
On most nights, Bastardo will be the eighth-inning man, but he might not be able to answer the call if needed Wednesday night. That’s because he needed 30 pitches to get through an arduous ninth inning. Bastardo struck out the final two batters of the game with runners in scoring position.
 
“It may do that,” Manuel said when asked if the 30 pitches would make Bastardo unavailable Wednesday.
 
GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said not to expect any major bullpen additions (see story), so Bastardo will have to be more economical with his pitches as the Phils try to fill the hole vacated by Adams.
 
“Antonio’s going to pitch a lot,” Manuel said.
 
Kendrick needed to go deep into this game.
 
“It’s always nice to go eight innings, especially with some of the key guys hurting down there,” he said.
 
Kendrick allowed a pair of runs in the second inning, but his teammates roared back in the third inning. Jimmy Rollins walked, Michael Young singled with one out and Brown homered on a 2-0 fastball with two outs.
 
A year ago, Brown’s shot to right-center would have been off the top of the wall, but the Padres moved in the fences in their cavernous yard in the offseason.
 
“It’s a homer now,” Kendrick said. “That ball was well-struck. I gave them two and we came right back with three. That was big.”
 
The Phils scored three more times against Marquis in the fifth to give Kendrick some cushion. Five of Kendrick’s strikeouts came after the fourth inning and three of those came with men on base.
 
“We got him some runs and he did a real good job,” Manuel said.
 
So did Brown. With one swing of the bat, he changed the game.
 
“I stayed short and quick and reacted to the ball,” Brown said. “Last night was a tough one, but we stayed positive and we’re ready to play tonight.”
 
Kendrick agreed.
 
“Hopefully we can come back and do the same thing tomorrow,” he said.
 
Cole Hamels gets the ball Wednesday night. He has 11 losses on the season and blew a 3-0 lead in his last outing, but is 8-2 with a 2.15 ERA in 13 career starts against his hometown team.