Bullpen issues plague Detroit Tigers in 7-3 loss at Philadelphia
By ROB MAADDI
AP Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA — Maikel Franco keeps producing like a cleanup hitter from the bottom of the lineup.
Franco hit a bases-clearing double in the seventh, Rhys Hoskins homered and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 on Wednesday night.
Aaron Nola pitched 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball, helping the Phillies earn a split of their two-game interleague series. The ace right-hander allowed seven hits and struck out six.
NL East-leading Philadelphia had scored one run or less in five of their previous nine games and had a tough time against Tigers starter Daniel Norris, who gave up one run and five hits in five innings.
But the offense tagged Detroit’s bullpen for six runs in two innings.
After Ronny Rodriguez gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead in the seventh with an RBI single off Seranthony Dominguez (2-0), the Phillies answered in the bottom half. J.T. Realmuto hit a one-out double to right off Buck Farmer (1-2) and Sean Rodriguez was hit by a pitch. Daniel Stumpf entered and Cesar Hernandez singled to load the bases.
Franco then ripped a liner to right-center off Victor Alcantara to put Philadelphia ahead 4-2.
Franco, who mostly batted in the middle of the order before this season, has adjusted well to his new spot. He has 23 of his RBIs batting eighth.
“Last year, against a hard sinkerball pitcher, that was a ground ball to the left side,” manager Gabe Kapler said of Franco’s big hit. “He put a lot of effort into his swing mechanics and is using the whole field.”
Jordy Mercer homered against Pat Neshek in the eighth to cut it to 5-3. Hoskins connected off Zac Reininger in the bottom half and Phil Gosselin capped the scoring with a pinch-hit RBI double.
Jacoby Jones hit an RBI single on Nola’s 100th and final pitch to tie it at 1. Nola took a four-hitter into the sixth before running into trouble.