BOSTON -- Domonic Brown has been the best hitter in the Phillies' lineup for more than a month, and it is not close.
He has hit .284 with six doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 23 RBIs and an .848 OPS in 30 games from April 24 through Monday's 9-3 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. He earned National League Player of the Week honors after hitting .348 (8-for-23) with two doubles, one triple, two home runs and seven RBIs in six games in the past week.
Interestingly, he has not hit higher than fifth this season, hitting sixth 42 times.
Could that be changing?
"He'll let me know when it's time for him to move," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said before Tuesday's game. "He's headed that way. Really, I mean that. I've developed a lot of players through the Minor Leagues and big leagues. I've had some of the best players who have ever been in baseball. They'll usually let you know where they're going to hit. [Chase] Utley and [Ryan] Howard did that. When people talk, 'Why is he hitting down there?' He'll hit his way there eventually."
Howard won NL Rookie of the Year honors in 2005. He hit sixth almost the entire season behind Jimmy Rollins, Kenny Lofton, Chase Utley, Bobby Abreu and Pat Burrell. He hit mostly fifth the first few months in 2006, permanently moving to fourth only when the Phillies traded Abreu on July 30. Howard won NL MVP honors that season.
Utley hit mostly fifth and sixth the first few months of 2005 before Manuel put him into the third spot for the first time on July 14. He remained there almost exclusively the rest of the season.
Brown might not move up in the lineup this week, but if he keeps hitting like this it is an eventuality.
"In my head, I always feel like I'm up to the task of being in the top of the order," Brown said. "That's Charlie's decision, and whenever he thinks I'm ready for it, I'll move up. Right now I'm fine where I'm at. As long as guys are getting in scoring position and I'm doing my little part on the team, we got Howard, Utley and those guys to drive in runs, so once I get a little time then I just try to do the same.
"You've got to earn it with Charlie. I grew up the same way. I totally understand where he's coming from, whereas a lot of guys might not. Nothing's going to be handed to you. You've got to go out and work hard. If you're putting up the numbers, then you're going to hit in the top of the lineup. If you don't, then he's going to put you down there in the seventh and eighth hole. Charlie's one of those managers that's going to let you know exactly what's going on. It's no surprises."
But Brown is encouraged with his progress. He credits a shorter, quicker swing for much of his success.
"Being around guys with short swings," he said. "You can definitely see the difference with guys like Jimmy, Utley, those guys. With that being said, I can get on the plate like those guys. Me being [6-foot-5], longer arms, I've got to be short to the baseball. Just going out, watching a lot of film and being around coaches, it's a little bit of everything."
Brown said he still has work to do, but he got a nice reward for his early success. He got a watch as part of the Player of the Week Award.
"I'm always trying to be stylish," he joked. "I'm definitely going to wear that, check it out a little bit."
Adams' arm feels good despite poor showing in return
BOSTON -- The Phillies originally scheduled Mike Adams to make a rehab appearance Monday, but they decided to activate him Sunday after a bullpen session Friday in Clearwater, Fla., despite the fact that he looked rusty.
He still looked rusty when he allowed one hit, one run, three walks and struck out one in just two-thirds of an inning in Monday's 9-3 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The run hardly mattered in a blowout loss, but Adams threw 30 pitches to make him unavailable for Tuesday's series finale. They were the most pitches he had thrown in a game since Aug. 5, 2011, when he threw 31.
Adams' struggles made one wonder if that rehab appearance would have served him well. His performance certainly would have mattered more if he had pitched with a one-run lead instead.
"I felt l was ready," Adams said. "I just got myself in a bind. A couple calls could have gone a couple ways maybe. At the same time, I've still got to make quality pitches, but the score was what it was and it allowed me to work out those kinks, even though I didn't get the results I would have liked."
Adams, who said he probably would have pitched differently if the game had been close, threw at least 20 cutters as he tried to get a feel for the pitch.
"It was probably the best I felt arm-wise in a long time," he said. "So I thought the ball was coming out good. I just wasn't really used to the ball coming out like that. So I was trying to make adjustments to correct it. I ended up throwing a lot of cutters just to get a feel for that. I was disappointed with the results, but at the same time I'm trying to take the good as far as how I felt and the liveliness on the ball. Now I'm just trying to hone it in to be around the strike zone."
Adams said he expects to be available to pitch Wednesday, when the Phillies return to Citizens Bank Park to face the Red Sox.
Victorino won't play, but excited for return to Philly
BOSTON -- Shane Victorino provided some of the more memorable moments in Phillies history in the 2008 postseason.
He hit a grand slam against Brewers left-hander CC Sabathia in Game 2 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park. He hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series at Dodger Stadium. And who can forget the image of Victorino leaping onto the celebratory pile after they won the World Series?
The Phillies host the Red Sox in a two-game set beginning Wednesday. Victorino, who signed a three-year contract with the Red Sox after the Phillies traded him to the Dodgers last July, will be in attendance, despite the fact he is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
"I definitely want to go," Victorino said. "I want to go because I want to see the fans. I want to acknowledge them, show I appreciated playing in Philly for all of those years. And not only on the field, but off the field in allowing me to have my Boys and Girls Club, support my foundation. That's stuff that's special to me.
"Going back and seeing everybody is special, too. To tip my cap and show the fans I appreciated them just as much as they appreciated me. I enjoyed playing in front of 45,000 every night, that showed up every night, wind, rain, whatever. That's what's special to me."
• Howard has been bothered with soreness in his left knee for a few weeks, but he played first base for the second consecutive game after not starting Sunday. "His knee is a little sore, but he can play," Manuel said. "He wants to play. He's in there."
• Thirty years ago Tuesday, Mike Schmidt struck out in his first four at-bats on 12 pitches. In his fifth at-bat, he hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against Jeff Reardon to beat the Montreal Expos, 5-3.
• Right-hander Carlos Zambrano threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings in a start Tuesday with Class A Clearwater. He allowed three hits, two walks and struck out two in an 81-pitch outing. The Phillies signed him to a Minor League contract this month. He can ask for his release if he is not on the Phillies' roster by July 1.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.