By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun
PHILADELPHIA—You have to figure that at some point Domonic Brown is going to slow down and come back down to earth with the rest of his fellow human beings at least a little bit, right?
Monday night was definitely not that night.
Brown continued his streak of knocking the cover off the ball by going 3-for-4 and hitting his ninth home run in 10 games while Kyle Kendrick pitched his first complete game of the season in the Phillies 7-2 win over the Miami Marlins at Citizen’s Bank Park.
After being named the National League’s Player of the Month and Player of the Week in the same day, Brown showed no signs of letting up and broke a close game open with a two-run homer in a four-run sixth inning.
Not only did Brown hit one out of the park, but so did catcher Erik Kratz and right fielder Delmon Young. The Phillies are proof positive of how one guy’s hot hitting can be contagious for the rest of the team.
“It’s great and it definitely affects and the people that are playing around him, it affects them, too,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “It kind of molds your offense together. When I was over in Cleveland, I never knew how much Albert Belle meant to our lineup until he was gone when everybody used to hit with him.”
Added Brown: “I always say hitting is contagious. I’m just trying to bring my energy to the ball club and we got a lot of guys out there that’s having a lot of fun as well, so we’re just trying to keep it up.”
Meanwhile, Kendrick had his best performance of the season by pitching all nine innings and allowing just two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Kendrick also helped his own cause at the plate with a triple which featured a head-first slide into third and an RBI.
“My change-up was good later on in the game,” Kendrick said. “I was working ahead, trying to get strike ones. I felt like I was doing that a lot just pounding the strike zone.”
After the Marlins had taken a 2-0 lead in third inning on RBI singles by Derek Dietrich and Marcel Ozuna, Kendrick settled down and allowed just one hit the rest of the game.
“After the (third) inning, he started changing speeds on them and every now and then throwing back-to-back change-ups and mixing in a hook,” Manuel said. “When he got to his sinker, he was ahead in the count. He could put it out of the strike zone where they could chase it. He pitched a heck of a game.”
The Phillies offense scored its seven runs in a span of two innings starting with a home run by Kratz in the fifth inning. After Kendrick tripled, he was brought home on an RBI single by center fielder Ben Revere, who would later score on a ground out by second baseman Cesar Hernandez.
In the sixth, Ryan Howard cracked a lead-off double to the gap in left center. Then Brown launched his National League-leading 17th homer of the season to the left field seats. Marlins starting pitcher Tom Koehler started Brown with a couple of off-speed pitches.
“It definitely felt good, I’m not going to say I knew the off-speed was coming, but I was looking for it there and he left the pitch up,” Brown said. “I’ve always been a guy that’s fought and battled in the box, nothing’s changed there. It’s just connecting on the pitches that they’re leaving up.”
In his six at-bats, Brown has five hits and two home runs. He is now batting .291.
Brown’s homer was followed by a solo shot by Young. The Phillies added two more runs a ground by Kendrick that scored third baseman Freddy Galvis, who reached on a triple.