Brown shows potential as he rides hot stretch

Phillies outfielder homers, drives in four runs against Greinke

Brown shows potential as he rides hot stretch

PHILADELPHIA -- Is Domonic Brown getting it again?

He hit a three-run home run against Dodgers ace Zack Greinke in the first inning and singled to drive in a run in the third on Thursday afternoon in a 10-8 loss at Citizens Bank Park. Two big hits against arguably the best pitcher in baseball continued a torrid two weeks for the Phillies outfielder, who needs to play well the final few weeks of the season to remain part of the club's future.

"Just playing and getting more comfortable," Brown said. "That's it."

Brown is batting .367 (18-for-49) with one double, one triple, three home runs and 14 RBIs in his past 14 games.

"Yeah, he's been swinging the bat better," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "It looks like he's playing with more confidence. It's nice to see. As I've said before, we want him to hit and hit for power. He's starting to do that a little bit. If we can get him back to the year he made the All-Star team, that's what we're trying to do. But it is encouraging."

Brown's homer came on a 1-1 fastball from Greinke. He singled down the left-field line to score Maikel Franco in the third to cut the Dodgers' lead to 7-6. He lined out sharply down the first-base line in the ninth inning to end the game.

Brown's RBI single

Greinke was impressed with what he saw from Brown and the top of the Phillies' lineup.

"Their top five in the order are up there with best top five we have to face, and you probably don't hear people say that," Greinke said.

Brown's reemergence is welcomed. He was one of the hottest hitters on the planet before the 2013 All-Star break, but from July 19, 2013, through July 19, 2015, he hit .236 with 31 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 87 RBIs and a .633 OPS in 770 plate appearances over 217 games.

Brown's OPS ranked 273rd out of 299 qualified hitters in that span and 113th out of 124 outfielders.

He continued to play nearly every day because the Phillies were trying to learn about him. Could he recapture his potential that made him the No. 1 prospect in baseball a few years ago? Or is it time to cut their losses and look elsewhere for a corner outfielder?

He is making things interesting at the moment.

"I don't know," said Brown, when asked if he believes this could be his last chance with Philadelphia. "I'm just playing, really. I haven't had time to sit down and think about it. I'm here every day making sure I'm ready to play. That's really it. No added pressure.

"It's baseball. If it doesn't work out here, I'll bust my butt so it will work out somewhere else."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.