Franco’s two-run single in 10th lifts Phillies over Braves

Published 1:42 am Sunday, April 23, 2017

By Rob Maaddi

AP Sports Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Maikel Franco rounded first base after his game-winning hit and kept running to right field, trying to avoid a celebratory beatdown from his teammates.

Andres Blanco caught him.

“Whitey got me this time,” Franco said of the playful punches he endured. “My body is killing me.”

Franco’s two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning gave the Philadelphia Phillies a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night in a wild game that featured excellent defensive plays and some blunders.

“Wacky is the word of the day,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

Adonis Garcia’s infield single drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th after Brandon Phillips hit a tying solo homer off Edubray Ramos with two outs in the ninth, but Philadelphia rallied against Jim Johnson (2-1).

The Phillies loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning on one-out singles by pinch-hitter Brock Stassi and infield hits by Cesar Hernandez and Aaron Altherr. After Johnson struck out Odubel Herrera, Franco lined a hit to deep right field.

“Just trying to have a good at-bat,” Franco said. “I got a good pitch to hit and that’s what happened.”

The Phillies have won four of five while the Braves have lost five straight after winning five in a row.

Jeanmar Gomez (2-1) allowed an unearned run in the 10th but earned the win.

Mackanin chose to use Ramos to protect a one-run lead in the ninth because Hector Neris, who closed out the past two games, and Joaquin Benoit were unavailable. Ramos was seeking his first career save.

“They thought the game was over and we ended up coming back,” Phillips said. “We just didn’t close it out. It just (stinks) to lose a game like that.”

Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff allowed one run and two hits, striking out seven in five innings.

“I had my stuff,” Eickhoff said.

Braves starter Jaime Garcia gave up two runs and five hits, fanning six in six innings.

Hernandez started Philadelphia’s rally in the sixth with a leadoff single against Garcia. Altherr then lined a double to left field and Herrera hit an RBI single up the middle to tie it at 1. Franco’s fielder’s choice grounder scored Altherr to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.



CINCINNATI (AP) — Willson Contreras hit his first career grand slam and Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward each added a three-run shot, powering Chicago past Cincinnati.

Jake Arrieta (3-0) returned to the mound where he threw his second career no-hitter last April 21 and struggled mightily at the outset, giving up two homers in the first inning. Chicago’s offense pulled him through with another homer-heavy game at Great American Ball Park. Arrieta helped with an RBI triple.

The Cubs have won 20 of their last 24 games against the Reds, including 17 of 21 at Great American Ball Park. The Cubs have homered in each of their last 14 games in Cincinnati.


NEW YORK (AP) — Gio Gonzalez pitched no-hit ball into the sixth inning to win again at Citi Field, and Washington beat New York for its sixth straight victory.

Gonzalez (2-0) gave up two singles in 6 1/3 innings. The lefty improved to 9-1 lifetime on the Mets’ home field.

Still missing slugger Yoenis Cespedes and other injured starters, New York has lost seven of eight.

Koda Glover, the fourth Washington pitcher, completed the combined two-hitter by getting the last out for his first big league save.

Jacob deGrom (0-1) struck out 10 and walked six in 5 2/3 innings. He was supposed to pitch Friday night, but was scratched with a stiff neck.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pinch-hitter Chris Carter drilled a three-run homer in the eighth inning off reliever Felipe Rivero to lift New York over Pittsburgh.

Carter sent the first pitch he saw from Rivero (1-1) into the bullpen beyond the center field fence for his first homer with the Yankees. Starlin Castro added a three-run shot of his own and Aaron Judge hit his team-high sixth home run for New York. Ronald Torreyes had four hits and two RBIs.

Dellin Betances (2-1) earned the win in relief.

Andrew McCutchen hit his third home run and had a sacrifice fly for Pittsburgh. David Freese added a solo home run, but the Pirates fell apart late.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Adam Rosales and Ryon Healy each homered in the first inning, Jharel Cotton pitched six innings of two-run ball and Oakland beat Seattle for its fifth straight win.

The two hottest A’s hitters quickly got to Ariel Miranda (1-2). Rosales led off with his second homer, and two batters later, Healy hit a two-run shot, his third this season and first since April 6.

Cotton (2-2) gave up two runs and six hits. Ryan Madson got four outs for his first save.

Miranda allowed four runs and seven hits over three-plus innings.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tim Beckham’s third straight hit came during a four-run sixth inning that helped carry Tampa Bay over AL West-leading Houston.

Beckham, who tripled and singled in two at-bats against starter Charlie Morton (1-2), drove in a run with his single in the sixth off reliever Will Harris. Evan Longoria had a two-run double for the Rays, who have won four of five.

The loss broke the Astros’ three-game win streak.

Austin Pruitt (2-0) got the win after 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief. Alex Colome pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

Astros center fielder George Springer, playing in his major league-leading 205th straight game, left in the fifth with a tight left hamstring.

Houston took an early 2-0 lead when Evan Gattis and Jose Altuve hit their first home runs of the season off Rays starter Blake Snell.


BALTIMORE (AP) — Just when it appeared Steven Wright had finally gained command of his fluttering knuckleball, the Baltimore Orioles found their groove.

The result: Another early exit for the 2016 All-Star in Boston’s 4-2 loss Saturday night.

Trey Mancini and Jonathan Schoop homered in succession off Wright, Jayson Aquino won his first big league start and the Orioles used one big inning to secure their fourth straight victory.

Baltimore will seek to complete a three-game sweep on Sunday. The Orioles have not lost a series this year and own the best record in the majors (12-4).

After limiting Baltimore to three hits over the first three innings, Wright (1-2) gave up two singles, two doubles and two home runs in the fourth. Chris Davis doubled, Mancini and Schoop homered and Adam Jones chased Wright with an RBI single.

“Obviously, I felt pretty good at the beginning and then one inning got away from me,” Wright said. “They hit mistakes. That’s what makes them good.”

Wright (1-2) allowed four runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings. Just 10 days earlier, the right-hander got only four outs and yielded eight runs against Baltimore at Fenway Park.

In just under 18 innings this season, Wright has given up seven homers and 17 earned runs.

“It’s not as unpredictable this year as it was last year,” he said of his knuckler. “It’s not really moving.  I am trying to get the violence back into the pitch.”

Aquino (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits over six innings to earn his first career victory. The 24-year-old lefty previously pitched three times in relief, all last year with Baltimore.

After breaking into professional ball with the Rockies’ organization in 2010 and bouncing from one minor league team to another, Aquino just might have found a home.

“It’s been a tough process. I’ve been through a few organizations right now,” he said through a translator. “But I’m just thankful to the Orioles for this opportunity and allowing me to start a game at the major league level.”

Mychal Givens pitched two perfect innings, Donnie Hart got two outs in the ninth and Darren O’Day finished for his first save.

Jackie Bradley Jr. homered for the Red Sox, who were without injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Bradley put the Red Sox up 2-0 in the third with his first home run, a shot onto Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard. Boston came in with only seven home runs, fewest in the big leagues.

At that point, it appeared Wright was more than capable of protecting the lead. But he never made it out of the fourth.

“On a night when we’re scuffling to put points on the board, that four-run inning looms large,” Boston manager John Farrell said.

The big hit was delivered by Mancini, whose team-high fifth long ball of the year soared into the seats in left-center. He has eight homers in 17 big league games over two seasons.

Two of them came against Wright, including one in that April 12 game.

“He was a little more on today, I’d say, especially early on,” Mancini said of Wright. “Luckily, my second at-bat, he just left one up that I put a good swing on.”


Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph snapped an 0-for-23 skid with a third-inning single and added a double in the fourth.

Joseph’s slump began last September and included 12 at-bats this season. He’s still looking for his first RBI since the 2015 season.


Red Sox: Pedroia missed the game with a sore left knee and ankle but hopes to return Sunday. The injuries occurred when he was spiked by Manny Machado on Friday night.

Orioles: All-Star closer Zach Britton (forearm strain) will be examined by a hand specialist Monday and could resume throwing on that day. … RHP Chris Tillman (shoulder) allowed three runs over 3 2/3 innings against Harrisburg in a rehabilitation outing with Double-A Bowie. … OF Joey Rickard (sprained finger) took soft-toss swings in a session manager Buck Showalter called “very encouraging.”


Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 4.76 ERA) takes the mound Sunday in the series finale.

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 7.23) makes his fifth start of the season. He’s allowed 26 hits in 18 2/3 innings.


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