Maikel Franco hit his second home run in as many days, helping the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 12-11 Friday.
Franco, among the young players the Phillies hope to rebuild around, hit a three-run drive into the left-field bullpen off Victor Mateo. Franco added an RBI single in the fourth.
“Basically for me, I’ve gotten focused, seeing the ball pretty good and just trying to go out there and enjoy the game and win,” Franco said.
Franco homered Thursday against the Yankees.
“The success last year he had during the season helped him gain confidence,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “He knows he belongs in the big leagues and he’s just going to keep getting better and better.”
Atlanta took advantage of Philadelphia’s wild bullpen late, scoring the go-ahead run in the ninth on an error by second baseman Darnell Sweeney after Hector Neris walked two batters with the bases loaded and Edubray Ramos relieved and walked in another run.
Cedric Hunter hit a three run homer against Jason Hursh in the bottom half.
Braves: Lucas Sims struggled in his first start of spring training, allowing five runs, three hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings.
“The results aren’t what I wanted, but the competitive side inside of me wanted to show what I can do,” Sims said. “I know I need to improve. But that’s all right- I’m looking to taking the ball next time.”
Phillies: Jeremy Hellickson made his first start since he was acquired during the offseason, allowing one run in two innings while striking out five. Ender Inciarte and Erick Aybar hit consecutive doubles.
“After the first batters, I kind of got locked in,” Hellickson said.
Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr, projected to be the opening-day right fielder, left the game after diving for a ball on a first-inning double by Ender Inciarte. “He told me that he needed to get it checked out,” Mackanin said. “Hopefully, it isn’t serious.” … Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard also left the game early with an illness that has gone around the clubhouse. … Phillies outfielder Cody Asche, who has not played in a game yet because of an oblique injury, worked out on the basepaths during batting practice but still didn’t swing a bat.
The Phillies face the Blue Jays on Saturday in Dunedin, and Aaron Nola is scheduled to start. The Braves play the Pirates in Kissimmee, and Bud Norris is to make his spring training debut.