LAKELAND, Fla. — One of Domonic Brown's signature moments came three springs ago, when he wore No. 78 and had no shot of making the Phillies. He worked a full count against Justin Verlander, one of the game's best pitchers, before cranking a home run that completely cleared Bright House Field.
Verlander started for Detroit on Sunday, but Brown was sitting on the bench because Charlie Manuel has 10 outfielders he wants to see play. So Brown's moment came in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter against Al Alburquerque.
He promptly crushed one deep beyond the fence in right-center.
"The last three days he's been swinging good," Manuel said. "Big power and he shows it."
Manuel noted improvements in Brown's swing. For a team that craves an answer at the corner outfield positions, it is a welcomed sight.
"It's a matter of learning where you want to hit the ball," Manuel said. "There's a technique involved. Balance and rhythm. Smooth, stay behind the ball nice and easy. Don't overswing."