PHILADELPHIA – For a team that plays in a cozy, hitter-friendly park, the Boston Red Sox sure know about games like this.
Domonic Brown hit a pair of homers, Erik Kratz and Ryan Howard also had solo shots to back Kyle Kendrick and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Red Sox 4-3 Wednesday night.
Though balls were flying out of Citizens Bank Park on a hot night, two of Philadelphia's homers barely reached the seats.
They all count the same.
"Any time the ball goes in the air in this park, you hold your breath," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "When it's warm here, the park is even smaller."
Daniel Nava hit a solo shot for AL East-leading Boston, which got a third straight quality start from John Lackey (3-5), who gave up six hits and three runs in six innings and raised his ERA to 2.96.
The Red Sox got within a run in the ninth on Jacoby Ellsbury's RBI single off Jonathan Papelbon. But with runners on second and third, Papelbon retired Nava on a grounder to first to end it. The fiery Papelbon enthusiastically pumped his fist twice after the last out against his former team.
"A real hard-fought game," Farrell said. "The opportunities were there. They made pitches with men on base."
David Ortiz flied out to right pinch-hitting in the ninth with a chance to tie it.
"I was ready," he said. "It was a good pitch, up and in."
The Red Sox went up 1-0 in the first on Dustin Pedroia's sacrifice fly after Ellsbury led off with a triple on a ball. Pedroia acknowledged before the game that he's been playing despite sustaining a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb diving into first base in the season opener.
"I didn't expect this to come out," Pedroia said. "As players here, we all want our medical stuff to stay private. I kind of feel uncomfortable talking about it."
Pedroia is hitting .332 and has no errors while playing in all 54 games.
Kendrick (5-3) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, helping the Phillies win their second straight against the Red Sox to get within one game of .500. They haven't had an even record since they were 6-6.
Brown is doing his best to get them back there. He hit his fourth homer in three nights and leads the Phillies with 13, including an NL-high 10 in May.
"I'm seeing it pretty well," Brown said. "I'm getting good pitches to hit. After the first at-bat, I swung at a bad pitch, I told myself to wait for one to handle."
Antonio Bastardo pitched the seventh, Mike Adams struck out two in a perfect eighth and Papelbon finished for his 11th save in 11 tries, including second in two nights against his old team.
The teams split two games at Fenway Park before moving their home-and-home, four-game set to Philadelphia.
Brown and Kratz hit consecutive homers in the fourth to put the Phillies up 3-1.
Brown then lined one out in the eighth off Koji Uehara to make it 4-2. That extra run proved important.
"He's very confident right now," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
Howard lined an opposite-field homer to left in the second to tie it at 1. He hadn't gone deep since May 7 against San Francisco, a streak of 61 homerless at-bats before hitting his seventh.
Nava hit an 0-2 pitch high off the right-field foul pole in the sixth.
Lackey got out of a first-and-third, one-out jam in the sixth by getting Freddy Galvis to ground into a double play.
"I just had to keep making pitches and hope our guys hit a couple out," Lackey said.
Shane Victorino, a two-time All-Star center fielder and key member of the Phillies World Series championship team in 2008, received a loud standing ovation following a video tribute. Victorino, who is on the disabled list, was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last July.
NOTES: The Red Sox recalled OF Jackie Bradley Jr. from Triple-A Pawtucket to take RHP Alex Wilson's roster spot. ... Nava's seven homers are a career-high. ... Franklin Morales faces Phillies rookie Jonathan Pettibone (3-0, 3.21) on Thursday night. Jon Lester has been moved to Friday night against the New York Yankees and Clay Buchholz may not start until Sunday.
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