PHILLIES’ MAIKEL FRANCO MAKING A HABIT OF GOING YARD!

By Sam Bush

Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco is on a power tear.

He grabbed the major league lead in home runs and RBIs this spring, but the Orioles rallied for an 8-7 victory over the Phillies yesterday.

Franco, who smacked 14 homers in 80 games as a rookie last year, went deep in each of his first two at-bats, against Orioles right-hander Yovani Gallardo. The 23-year-old ripped a solo blast over the left-field seats in the first inning, then launched a three-run shot in the same direction two frames later. He now has six homers and 14 RBIs in 11 Grapefruit League games.

Paul Janish poked a go-ahead two-run single to right field in the bottom of the eighth inning, when Baltimore scored three runs to jump in front. Manny Machado andAdam Jones both hit their second home runs of the spring for the Orioles, who improved to 2-11-2 in Grapefruit League play.

Rule 5 pick Tyler Goeddel led off the game with a homer, and Cedric Hunter singled three times for the Phillies, who dropped to 10-4-2.

Gallardo, who signed a two-year deal with Baltimore in late February, was hit hard for the second time in as many starts. He surrendered five earned runs on four hits — including three homers — over 2 1/3 innings, walking two and striking out one. The veteran now has allowed eight runs over 4 1/3 innings this spring.

“I felt pretty good,” Gallardo said. “The results weren’t there. I made some mistakes, more with the slider. That’s the frustrating part, that the consistency and the command’s not there with it, but I’m happy I was able to command the fastball. That’s probably one of the positive things that I did today, command the fastball away to the right-handed hitter, so that’s a good sign.”

Phillies starter Alec Asher retired the first six batters he faced but gave up four runs in his final inning. Caleb Joseph hit an RBI double to get the Orioles on the board, and Ryan Flaherty launched a deep sacrifice fly before Machado’s two-run shot.

After going 1-for-3 with an RBI double in his Baltimore debut on Sunday, Pedro Alvarez served as the club’s designated hitter on Monday and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Up next for Phillies: Right-hander Aaron Nola makes his third Grapefruit League start this afternoon against the Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla. at 1:05 p.m. ET. Nola is 0-1 with an 11.57 ERA this spring. He typically has excellent command but has not shown it so far this spring. He hopes for improvement against the Rays. The game can be heard on a free, live exclusive webcast on MLB.com.

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