MIAMI (AP) — If Domonic Brown can continue his recent power surge, Jonathan Pettibone will likely to have an easier time bouncing back from his first loss for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The NL’s home run leader looks to stay hot and help the Phillies move above .500 on their homestand Tuesday night when they take on the lowly Miami Marlins.
Brown had three hits and his 17th home run, tying Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera for second in the big leagues behind Baltimore’s Chris Davis (20), as Philadelphia rolled to a 7-2 victory in Monday’s series opener.
Following a three-game losing streak, the Phillies (28-30) have won two in a row to even their record to 3-3 on this eight-game homestand. They’ve also won three straight over the Marlins (16-42), who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
Brown, the NL player of the month in May, has sparked a Philadelphia offense that ranks near the bottom of the majors with 209 runs.
The left fielder had 12 homers and 25 RBIs last month, and is hitting .484 with eight homers and 15 RBIs over his last eight games.
“I’m not really big on numbers,”said Brown, who also has four home runs and nine RBIs in his last eight versus the Marlins. “I watch my at-bats every day, see which ones are good and try to keep improving.”
He’s had success against Marlins scheduled starter Ricky Nolasco (3-6, 3.69 ERA), going 6 for 12 lifetime with a homer, double and triple. Nolasco, though, is 6-2 with a 3.31 ERA in eight career starts in Philadelphia.
“We’re throwing him a lot of breaking balls,” manager Mike Redmond told mlb.com. “When you’re going good like that, we make a mistake and he hits it. It just seems like the way he’s going right now, he’s locked in, he’s hitting everything.”
The right-hander has allowed three runs or less and worked into the seventh inning in four of his last five outings, though he’s 1-3 with a 3.15 ERA over that span. Nolasco has received a total of five runs of support in his last six starts, and his 1.12 run-support average in May was the worst in the majors.
Though the Marlins had averaged 8.0 runs and batted .370 during their winning streak, they were held to six hits by Kyle Kendrick on Monday.
Miami might have a tough time regrouping versus Pettibone (3-1, 3.64), who hopes to get back on track following his worst outing of the season.
After allowing three or fewer runs in each of his first seven starts, the right-hander allowed four in the first inning and yielded four walks and six hits over five in a 9-2 loss to Boston on Thursday.
The rookie, though, beat Nolasco in his only start against the Marlins, allowing one run and five hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 4-1 home win May 3. That ended a five-start win streak in Philadelphia for Nolasco, who gave up three homers and four runs and eight hits in six innings.
Brown and Ryan Howard each took Nolasco deep in that contest, and Howard is 4 for 6 with a homer and three doubles against him this season.
Miami rookie Marcell Ozuna, who went 2 for 3 with a double off Pettibone, has batted .352 while hitting safely in 18 of 19 contests.
Chris Coghlan is batting .429 with six extra-base hits and eight RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak.
Philadelphia’s Michael Young was available off the bench Monday but did not play after missing five games to tend to his nine-month old son after he was hospitalized.
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