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Thu, May 30, 2013 - 7:05 PM ET
 

Red Sox-Phillies Preview

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Paced by Domonic Brown's hot bat, the Philadelphia Phillies are again in position to reach .500 for the first time since early April.

They can achieve that feat with a third consecutive victory over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.

Brown hit two of Philadelphia's four home runs in a 4-3 win over Boston on Wednesday. Winners of 10 of 16, the Phillies (26-27) can move back to the break-even mark for the first time since they were 6-6 on April 14.

This is the third time in the last week that Philadelphia has had a chance to even its record. The Phillies have won three in a row three times this season.

"We still have a way to go, but things are going to click," closer Jonathan Papelbon told the Phillies' official website. "It feels like our hitting and pitching are starting to sync up, and I think if we do that we can do a lot of damage in the NL East."

Brown is batting .306 with seven of his team-high 13 home runs and 17 RBIs in his last 18 games. All four of his hits in 12 at-bats against the Red Sox (32-22) this week have left the park.

"I'm seeing it pretty well,'' said Brown, who has 10 homers in May. "I'm getting good pitches to hit. After the first at-bat (Wednesday), I swung at a bad pitch, I told myself to wait for one to handle.''

Papelbon, the ex-Red Sox pitcher, converted his 11th save in as many tries and second straight against his former team Wednesday.

Boston has totaled four runs and 11 hits in the last two games after scoring 30 times during a four-game winning streak. That run ended following a 9-3 home win over Philadelphia on Monday.

Boston star Dustin Pedroia went 1 for 3 with an RBI hours after he acknowledged that he's been playing with a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, suffered when he dove into first base in the season opener. The injury has not kept the second baseman from batting .332 with three homers and 29 RBIs while playing every game this year.

"I didn't expect this to come out,'' he said. "As players here, we all want our medical stuff to stay private. I kind of feel uncomfortable talking about it.''

Pedroia and the Red Sox get their first look at Philadelphia rookie Jonathan Pettibone (3-0, 3.21 ERA), who has not allowed more than three runs in his first seven career starts.

The right-hander gave up three runs and a season-high nine hits while striking out six in six innings of a 5-3 win at Washington on Saturday. The Phillies are 6-1 with him on the mound.

Boston's Franklin Morales will make his 2013 debut after back and pectoral problems delayed his start to the season.

"It was a little frustrating," Morales told the Red Sox's official website. "But right now, I'm healthy. I want to be ready for any situation the manager needs me."

The left-hander went 3-4 with a 3.77 ERA in 37 appearances - nine starts - for Boston in 2012. He's gone 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA in four relief appearances and one start, which came in 2007 while with Colorado, against Philadelphia.

Tagged: Red Sox, Phillies, Jonathan Papelbon, Domonic Brown

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