Brown Homers To Break Out Of Slump With Nationals





WASHINGTON—Outfielder Corey Brown's first big league hit—a home run in a 4-1 win at Milwaukee on July 28—was as much a gift for his mother as for himself.

In his second stint with the Nationals, the lefthanded hitter ended the 0-for-11 start to his career by connecting off southpaw Randy Wolf. He gave the ball to his high school coach John Thresher, who hand-delivered it to Brown's mother in Tampa.

It was the least he could do to thank Kathy Brown, who has raised six sons and attended countless baseball and football games.

"It was definitely a great experience for me to be called up and be part of the best team in the majors," Brown said. "It was an honor. I wish I could've stayed longer, but as you can see we have so many great players."

The 26-year-old Brown appreciates the memorable moments even more after his mother spent six weeks in a coma when he was a freshman at Oklahoma State, one year removed from Plant High. Kathy was hit by a car while she was out walking.

"You wouldn't even notice it now, but after all she's been through and all she's done for us, I had a lot of emotions inside when I hit that home run," Brown said soon after he had returned to Triple-A Syracuse.

Chiefs skipper Tony Beasley said Brown "does so many things to help the ballclub." As evidence, Brown covered center field for Bryce Harper for two days and went 3-for-13 with a double, a homer and three runs in six games during his July callup.

He may soon receive a longer look. Brown batted .291/.371/.540 with 21 home runs and 14 steals through 374 at-bats for Syracuse this season.

"He's really improved in all phases," farm director Doug Harris said. "He understands what he has to do offensively to put himself in position to succeed. He's defending and throwing well and running the bases aggressively and intelligently."

A supplemental first-round pick by the Athletics in 2007, Brown and righthander Henry Rodriguez joined the Nationals in the December 2010 deal that sent Josh Willingham to Oakland.

CAPITAL GAINS

• Washington jumped center fielder Brian Goodwin, a 2011 supplemental pick, from low Class A Hagerstown to Double-A Harrisburg on July 19. He batted .324/.438/.542 in 216 at-bats at the first stop.

• The Nationals also promoted Harrisburg center fielder Eury Perez to Syracuse, where he'll share time with Brown and bat leadoff. He'll play left field on days he's not in center.