- Associated Press - Thursday, August 18, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The key to Maikel Franco’s success is not trying to do too much.

Franco hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the seventh inning and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 on Thursday night.

“I just go try to put the ball in play, put good contact on it,” Franco said. “When you try to do too much, you’re not being someone you have to be.”

Ryan Howard also homered for Philadelphia, which avoided a three-game series sweep.

“After all the home runs they hit against us, we finally beat them with a home run,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “That was huge.”

Justin Turner and Yasmani Grandal went deep for the Dodgers, who began play 1 1/2 games in front of the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.

“That’s a game that leaves a sour taste,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s a win we had late. We had a lead late.”

Michael Mariot (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh inning in relief of Jerad Eickhoff to earn the victory.

Freddy Galvis led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and Franco followed with his 22nd homer, to deep center off Grant Dayton (0-1) to give the Phillies a 5-4 lead.

“It was a fastball right down the middle and I put good contact on it - nothing else,” Franco said.

Jeanmar Gomez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 32nd save in 35 opportunities.

Eickhoff gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings with eight strikeouts and two walks. The right-hander snapped an eight-game streak in which Philadelphia starters pitched fewer than six innings - one game short of matching the club record.

“He’s got a bulldog mentality,” Mackanin said. “He means business when he goes out there. Tonight it wasn’t the greatest, and he got burned, but he threw an awful lot of good curveballs.”

The Dodgers jumped on Eickhoff quickly as the first three batters of the game scored to put Los Angeles ahead. Chase Utley and Corey Seager singled and Turner connected on his 23rd homer.

Utley’s throwing error in the second led to an unearned run as Aaron Altherr’s RBI single brought Philadelphia to 3-1.

Grandal’s one-out solo homer, his 20th, off the scoreboard in right in the fourth inning made it 4-1.

Howard led off the bottom of the inning with his 19th homer of the season, a booming shot to center, to move into a tie with Carlton Fisk for 75th all-time with his 376th career home run.

Howard has 11 homers in his last 28 starts and is batting .357 since the All-Star break.

“He’s been swinging the bat as well as I’ve seen him in a long time,” Mackanin said.

And Philadelphia closed to 4-3 on Featherston’s double to left-center.

Featherston started at second base in place of Cesar Hernandez, who was a late scratch due to a sore foot.

Dodgers starter Ross Stripling gave up three runs - two earned - and six hits in five innings. Stripling, making his 11th start, struck out five and walked two.


Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a sixth-inning double. Gonzalez is batting .432 with six doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs during the streak.


The Dodgers finished with 16 homers in their six games against Philadelphia this season.

Philadelphia has homered in 12 straight games for the first time since 2013.


The Philies moved all fans with tickets in sections 104 and 105 in right field because of an issue with the scoreboard that overhangs those sections. There also were no fans in the first three rows in the sections directly above the scoreboard. In a statement, the Phillies said the scoreboard wasn’t a threat to fall but fans were moved for precautionary measures. The problem with a bracket supporting protective netting in front of the scoreboard was to be corrected after the game, the team said.


Dodgers: RHP Bud Norris, sidelined since Aug. 1 due to a back strain, will be activated from the DL and start the weekend series opener at Cincinnati.

Phillies: Hernandez said he will be in the lineup on Friday.


Dodgers: Norris (6-9, 4.26) will make his first start since July 31 in the opener of the four-game series, facing Reds RHP Tim Adleman (1-1, 3.73).

Phillies: LHP Adam Morgan (1-7, 6.62) starts on Friday night when the Phillies host the Cardinals for the first of three games. RHP Adam Wainwright (9-7, 4.72) starts for St. Louis.

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