Gameday

Phils win fifth straight, above .500

It was the official coming out party for Maikel Franco in tonight’s 7-4 win over the Fish. The slugger entered the game with a .171 average and, after a 3-for-4 night that included a grand slam to center field, his average finally rose above the Mendoza line at .203. Our own Daniel Walsh cited Franco’s poor statistical numbers, but came to the conclusion that the third baseman has hit into some tough luck in the early-going (read Daniel’s piece for some fascinating numbers). All three of Franco’s hits were rockets, including his lone out, which was a line out to left.

Vince Velasquez had another encouraging start. After giving up two runs in the first three innings, the right-hander settled down and pitched another economical game. He was able to get through six innings, throwing just 87 pitches. He was unable to get out of the seventh, however, before Joely Rodriguez came in to replace the right-hander.

Velasquez’s final line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.

Velasquez has struck out just five batters combined in his last two starts. We’ll gladly sacrifice some Ks for lengthier outings.

Freddy Galvis and Michael Saunders also went yard. It was Saunders’ first home run as a Phillie and gave his new team a 7-3 lead.

Don’t look now, but the Phils are 10-9 and have won five in a row. They’ll look to extend it to six with ace (for now) Jeremy Hellickson on the mound at 1:05 p.m. Thursday.

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