Strep throat interrupts Brown's surge at plate

Strep throat interrupts Brown's surge at plate

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies caught a tough break on Saturday, when strep throat forced Domonic Brown out of the lineup.

Brown, who was labeled day to day with the illness but pinch-hit in the seventh inning of Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Nationals, was just starting to heat up at the plate. Over his past 10 games, the Phillies left fielder had hit .294 (10-for-34) with a homer and eight RBIs.

Brown said after Saturday night's game that he did not know if he would be able to play in Sunday's series finale.

Brown is still batting just .228 overall after singling in his at-bat Saturday, but his efficiency in the clutch has rendered him valuable out of the No. 6 hole in the order. His .338 average with runners in scoring position has translated into 46 RBIs, tying him for second among all NL outfielders.

On Friday night, Brown delivered in the clutch again, lacing a two-run double off All-Star Jordan Zimmermann.

"I just see the potential there with any swing of the bat throughout the game that he can make a difference," manager Ryne Sandberg said before Saturday night's game. "That's kind of what he did [Friday night] with one swing of the bat, driving in against a tough pitcher and two runs come in. So that's the potential that's there. When I make up a lineup, that's kind of what I envision in the course of a game, him coming through like that."

Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.