Phillies hope to step up in Franco's absence

In opener vs. Toronto, offense tops output of entire series in Milwaukee

Phillies hope to step up in Franco's absence

PHILADELPHIA -- Life without Maikel Franco might not be easy for the Phillies.

It showed over the weekend in Milwaukee, where the Phillies scored a combined four runs in three losses against the Brewers at Miller Park. Franco has not played since he got hit with a pitch on his left wrist Aug. 11, and he could miss the rest of the season after the Phillies revealed Tuesday the wrist is broken.

"Well, there is no question we are going to miss his bat," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said before Tuesday night's 8-5 loss to the Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park. "It's going to be tough missing that right-handed bat especially in the lineup. But we're going to do everything we can to get through it and just keep battling. There's nothing we can do about it."

Franco posted a team-high .830 OPS before the injury.

"I feel bad," Franco said. "But it's part of the game. I hope I can come back soon. We'll see what's going to happen."

Franco's absence leaves rookie Odubel Herrera (.744 OPS) in the No. 3 spot.

But the Phillies showed some life against the Blue Jays. They knocked Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey from the game in the fifth inning. He allowed five runs in four-plus innings, which snapped a Blue Jays-record 20 consecutive games with a starter allowing three or fewer earned runs. The last time it happened was July 25, when Drew Hutchison allowed five earned runs in four innings at Seattle.

Phillies right fielder Jeff Francoeur crushed a solo home run to center field in the second inning. Francoeur signed with the Phillies as a Minor League free agent in November, and he has 11 home runs and a .786 OPS, which leads the team among players with 125 or more at-bats this season.

Francoeur's solo homer

Cesar Hernandez, Cody Asche and Freddy Galvis each knocked in runs as the Phillies took a 5-3 lead in the fifth, but the bullpen blew it in the sixth.

"I hope our guys take notice that they look for the fastball, and if they're looking fastball and you make a mistake with something soft and it's out over the plate, they don't take it," Mackanin said about the Blue Jays' high-powered lineup. "They do damage. They're just a dangerous offensive team."

Can the Phillies be potent enough without Franco?

"I'd like to think so," Mackanin said. "I think we can score enough, but it all boils down to pitching."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.