By Sam Bush
Maikel Franco did pretty well yesterday for a part-time player:
He homered and drove in four runs and the Phillies held off the Milwaukee Brewers’ ninth-inning rally for a 10-9 victory.
“We didn’t tell him he was going to be starting,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “He worked great at-bats. He punished pitchers when they made mistakes. (Franco) has shown an incredible attitude recently.”
Franco, who had been out of the lineup recently after struggling at the plate, said he comes prepared to play, even when his name isn’t on the lineup card.
“I can’t control that,” Franco said. “I just try to be ready every single day.”
Rhys Hoskins and Odubel Herrera also homered as the Phillies took two of three from the Brewers, who are tied with Atlanta for the best record in the NL.
Milwaukee trailed 10-5 going into the ninth. Jesus Aguilar led off with a home run and Eric Thames hit his second homer of the game, a three-run shot with two outs off Hector Neris.
Christian Yelich followed with a deep drive to center field and Herrera made a leaping catch for the final out, giving Jake Thompson his second save.
“We thought he went deep, the way it looked off the bat,” Thames said. “We were close to tying that game.”
Tommy Hunter (2-0) picked up the win with one inning of relief.
Hoskins hit a two-run homer in the first off starter Chase Anderson (5-6). Hoskins connected for the second straight day and his 10th of the season.
Thames had his first career leadoff home run, a drive into the right-field bullpen off Aaron Nola. Milwaukee tied it in the third on Lorenzo Cain’s RBI double before Philadelphia regained the lead in the fourth on Franco’s two-run homer.
Franco is 5 for 10 with three home runs in his career against Anderson.
The Brewers pulled even in the fifth on a run-scoring double by Travis Shaw, who then scored on Aguilar’s single that chased Nola.
Nola gave up four runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Nick Williams drove in a pair of runs with a bases-loaded single off relieverJeremy Jeffress in the sixth to give the Phils a 6-4 lead. Yelich had a sacrifice fly in the bottom half.
Franco’s bases-loaded single in the seventh drove in two more as the Phillies extended the lead to 8-5. The Phils added another run in the eighth on Scott Kingery’s RBI double.
Herrera hit a leadoff homer in the ninth to grow the lead to 10-5 before the Brewers rallied.