After spring training, the Phillies finally decided they were going to let Domonic Brown sink or swim as a big-league starting outfielder.
And, boy, is he swimming.
Brown stroked two more solo home runs on Wednesday to help boost the Phillies to their second straight win over the AL East-leading Red Sox, 4-3.
Brown now has 10 home runs in May and four in his last three games. Remarkably, Brown — with 13 homers — is just one long ball shy of Atlanta's Justin Upton for most in the National League.
Did anyone predict this blistering start for the 25-year-old?
Also, Kyle Kendrick snapped out of a two-start funk and the Phillies (26-27) hit four more solo blasts — the two from Brown and one each from Ryan Howard and Erik Kratz.
Kendrick looked more like the Kendrick from April 10 to May 12 than the Kendrick from his past two starts. The 28-year-old threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of the 25 batters he faced and gave the Phillies a six-inning, two-run effort for his eighth quality start. Kendrick did walk three, but limited Boston to four hits — the least he's allowed in a start since his shutout of the Mets on April 26. He also worked out of a first-and-second, one-out jam in the sixth frame by starting an inning-ending, 1-6-3 double play.
The Phillies must have devised a game plan to run on Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Coming into Wednesday, the Boston backstop had allowed 24 stolen bases in 28 attempts. The Phillies made it 28 in 32 for Saltalamacchia by swiping a season-high four bags.
Mike Adams showed great signs by working a perfect eighth inning in 13 pitches. That was a significant improvement from his rusty return in Boston on Monday in which he threw 30 pitches and walked three batters in two-thirds of an inning.
Jonathan Papelbon gave up his first run since April 3 on a bloop double from Jacoby Ellsbury that a diving Brown nearly caught for the third and final out. Prior to that run, Papelbon had thrown 19 1/3 scoreless innings in a row. The Phillies' closer still notched his 11th save in as many opportunities.
On Thursday, the Phillies have a chance to take three of four games from the Red Sox (32-22) this season. Jonathan Pettibone (3-0, 3.21) will not square off with Jon Lester (6-1, 3.34), who was originally scheduled to start Thursday but was pushed back to Friday. Instead, the Phillies will see Franklin Morales in his 2013 debut after he began the season on the disabled list.