Pitching and defense wins ballgames, as the old adage goes.

But hitting is contagious.

Based on the way Domonic Brown has been swinging the bat over the past month-plus, the Phillies are waiting for a pandemic to break out.

Perhaps after the 7-2 victory over the last-place Miami Marlins (see Instant Replay), the Phillies are beginning to get a bit infected with whatever it is Brown has. Brown's latest home run — his eighth in his last eight games and ninth in his last 10 — helped the Phillies score seven runs for the second straight game.

For a team that scored seven runs in just two games and was shut out three times in May, this outburst is a significant development.

“I always say hitting is contagious,” said Brown, whose two-run blast in the sixth inning broke the game open. “I’m just trying to bring my energy to the ballclub. We’ve got a lot of guys out there having a lot of fun as well. We’re just trying to keep it up.”

Brown went 3 for 4, clubbed his league-leading 17th home run and raised his batting average to .291. Erik Kratz and Delmon Young also hit homers in the victory and leadoff man Ben Revere had a pair of hits and swiped two bases. Even pitcher Kyle Kendrick got in on the party by lacing a long triple to center field that was punctuated with a belly flop of a headfirst slide.

Meanwhile, Ryan Howard hit a double as he slowly shows signs of getting his swing together.

Who knows, maybe Howard is trying to keep up with Brown. Isn’t it funny how roles change?