BOSTON - The 30th pitch Mike Adams tossed Monday was a ball, and that signaled a merciful end to his first outing in 17 days. Adams had not thrown that many pitches in almost two years. He walked three Red Sox; gave up a run, making an insurmountable deficit even larger; and was happy with his performance.

"In a sense it's good," Adams said of his two-thirds of an inning. "It builds up endurance. It helps get you in shape."

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It left him unavailable Tuesday. Adams missed time with a back strain, and his arm suffered as a result. Pitching coach Rich Dubee originally planned for Adams to pitch in a minor-league game Monday. Adams threw to hitters at a controlled session in Clearwater, Fla., last Friday and proclaimed himself fit. The Phillies activated him despite his being "a little rusty," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

Did Adams regret that Monday as he pitched in what, essentially, was a major-league rehab game?

"No. I felt I was ready," Adams said. "I just got myself in a bind. A couple calls could have gone a couple ways maybe. . . . 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 said he adopted a different approach to hitters. He threw cutters for at least 20 of his 30 pitches. He said he wanted a feel for that pitch because it was lively - to a fault.

Brown honored

Domonic Brown batted sixth in Charlie Manuel's lineup Tuesday, the same day he was named the National League's player of the week. Only three players have hit more home runs in May than Brown: Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez, and Mike Trout.

A good week does not a season make. Nor does a month. But Brown, who homered again Tuesday, is close to earning more status in the lineup.

"He'll let me know when it's time for him to move," Manuel said. "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."

Zambrano starts

One day after Tyler Cloyd was shelled, a potential Phillies rotation reinforcement took a key step toward joining the team. Carlos Zambrano started Tuesday for single-A Clearwater and went 42/3 innings, giving up no runs and three hits while walking two and striking out two. He threw 81 pitches.

It marked Zambrano's first minor-league appearance. He had made two starts in extended spring training since his May 15 signing. He could move to double-A Reading or triple-A Lehigh Valley next.

Zambrano turns 32 Saturday. The Phillies must promote him to the majors before July 1 or he can ask for his release.