Phillies take aim at .500 in capper with Red Sox

Domonic Brown will try to swat Philadelphia back to the .500 mark on Thursday night when the Phillies conclude a string of four straight meetings with the Boston Red Sox.

Brown has homered in all three games versus the Red Sox, going deep once in Monday's loss at Boston and again at Fenway Park the following night. The outfielder then hit a pair of solo homers when the series shifted to Philadelphia on Wednesday night, helping his club edge out a 4-3 win.

The 25-year-old has five home runs over his last five games and leads the Phillies with 13 homers and 32 RBI. The reigning NL Player of the Week became the first Phillie to hit 10 home runs in one month since Ryan Howard had 11 in August of 2009.

"I'm just getting some good pitches to hit," said Brown. "The first at-bat I swung at some bad pitches and I told myself I was going to try not to do that for the rest of the night. I got some good pitches to hit and just happened to hit them hard."

Howard and Erik Kratz also went deep for the Phillies, who have won 10 of their last 16 and at 26-27 will try to reach the even mark for the first time since they were 6-6 on April 14.

Kyle Kendrick picked up the win with six innings of two-run ball and Jonathan Papelbon allowed a run in the ninth before locking down his 11th save of the season. The RBI double he allowed to Jacoby Ellsbury snapped his scoreless innings streak at 19 1/3 innings.

The Phillies were without third baseman Michael Young, who was placed on the bereavement list before the game. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez was recalled from Triple-A to take his place on the roster.

Daniel Nava homered and Dustin Pedroia also drove in a run. Pedroia confirmed before the game a report that he has been playing with a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, which he hurt on Opening Day. It hasn't had an impact on the second baseman as he is hitting .332 this season and has not committed an error.

John Lackey took the loss for Boston as he gave up three of Philadelphia's four homers over six innings of work.

"In this ballpark, every time the ball goes in the air, seemingly you're holding your breath a little bit," said Red Sox manager John Farrell, whose club has lost back-to-back contests following a four-game winning streak.

Looking to secure a victory of this home-and-home series, rookie Jonathan Pettibone looks to avoid his first career loss for the Phillies, who are 6-1 in the 22-year-old's starts this year.

Pettibone is 3-0 with a 3.21 earned run average and has not allowed more than three runs in any of his seven outings. However, he did not factor into his second straight start on Friday in Washington, charged with the three runs on a season-high nine hits over six innings. He also matched a personal best with six strikeouts.

The right-hander, who faces Boston for the first time, is 2-0 in four starts at home with a 2.13 ERA.

Jon Lester was slated to take the hill for the Red Sox tonight, but with ace Clay Buchholz having his scheduled outing on Friday pushed back to Sunday at the earliest, Lester will take his place in the opener of a weekend set versus the New York Yankees.

Buchholz was supposed to start Monday's contest versus Philadelphia, but was scratched due to a right shoulder injury.

Instead, left-hander Franklin Morales will make his season debut for the Red Sox with a spot start.

Morales began the season on the disabled list due to a lower-back strain before getting activated on Tuesday. He went 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in five rehab outings for three separate minor-league affiliates.

The 27-year-old was 3-4 with a save and 3.77 ERA in 37 games with the Red Sox last year, including nine starts. Morales is 1-0 lifetime versus the Phillies with a 0.96 ERA in five meetings with only one start.

Boston won two of three in Philadelphia a season ago and is 14-8 all-time at Citizens Bank Park.