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Phenom Joins the Fun

Phils roll to seventh straight win

Domonic Brown had 2 hits and 2 RBI in his debut with the Phillies. (David M Warren/Staff Photographer)
Domonic Brown had 2 hits and 2 RBI in his debut with the Phillies. (David M Warren/Staff Photographer)Read more

There was something new and more of the same for the Phillies on Wednesday night, and the streaking team benefited from both.

The new face was Domonic Brown, the club's most anticipated prospect since Ryan Howard, who reported from triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill a void in the outfield.

In a dramatic first big-league at-bat against Arizona, Brown drove in the first run with a hard-hit double in the second, immediately ingratiating himself to a curious crowd at Citizens Bank Park. He later added a single and a sacrifice fly to account for another run. Brown scored twice in the Phillies' breezy 7-1 win.

"Of course I was nervous," Brown said. "After that first at-bat, I sort of settled in and relaxed."

Meanwhile, it was more of the same from Roy Halladay, who methodically plowed through the Diamondbacks to continue his dominance when he pitches in South Philly.

The win was the seventh straight for the Phils and 10th in a row at home, their longest home winning streak since they strung together 16 straight at Veterans Stadium in 1991. They remained 3 1/2 games behind Atlanta in the NL East.

"It's been a lot more fun the last little while," said Halladay, who pitched his eighth complete game and came within one out of a shutout. "It's important that we finish up strong here [Thursday] and carry it on the road. We seem to play well at home lately and we need to carry that over."

While Brown successfully overcame the natural jitters prompted by his major-league debut, Halladay calmly went about his business with cold calculation. He extended his streak of scoreless innings at home to 33 2/3 innings before Miguel Montero's two-out double in the ninth ruined his bid for his fourth shutout.

Montero's hit was misplayed in right field by Brown, who broke for the ball rather than play it safe and hold Montero to a single.

"I was trying to make a play for my team," Brown said. "Normally I don't go after that ball at all."

Halladay gave up six hits and struck out nine to run his record to 12-8.

Until Montero's double, Halladay had not allowed a run at Citizens Bank Park since the first inning of a July 5 game against Atlanta.

And Halladay made it look easy, retiring the Diamondbacks in order in five innings. He didn't walk a batter and needed only 114 pitches to complete his work.

For the 90th consecutive sellout crowd at Citizens Bank Park, it was love at first sight when it gave the gangly 6-foot-5, 200-pound Brown a standing ovation as he stepped into the batter's box in the second inning.

Brown tore into a slider from Edwin Jackson and hit a line drive off the wall in right to score Jayson Werth. He was greeted enthusiastically in the dugout by his new teammates after he scored on a groundout by Wilson Valdez.

Ironically, one reason the Phillies didn't complete a trade with Toronto for Halladay last July was their refusal to part with Brown.

"I'm glad they didn't trade him," Halladay said. "Obviously, he's going to be a good player. For him to come in, especially to a place like this with all the expectations and all the fans, and produce the first day has got to be a good feeling for him."

Werth continued to put his hard times behind him with three hits, including a pair of doubles. He scored three runs and is batting .588 (10 for 17) during the homestand.

Carlos Ruiz also had a big night with three hits and three RBIs. He pulled a double down the left-field line to drive in two runs in a three-run sixth that stretched the Phillies' lead to 5-0. After reaching first with a line-drive single to right, Brown was one of the runners who scored on Ruiz's hit.

The five-run lead was more than enough for Halladay, who often had been the victim of lack of run support from his teammates. In Halladay's eight losses this season, the Phillies averaged 2.25 runs a game.