Mighty Maikel: HR powers Phils over Dodgers

Mighty Maikel: HR powers Phils over Dodgers

PHILADELPHIA -- For the second time in eight days, the Dodgers took a lead into the seventh inning, primed to complete a sweep of the Phillies, but left without one -- victims of the long ball.

This time, Maikel Franco had the clutch hit, following in Freddy Galvis' footsteps from last Wednesday in Los Angeles. Franco followed a Galvis single Thursday by rocketing a fastball over the wall in straightaway center to give the Phillies a 5-4 win.

"[It felt] very good, very good," Franco said. "It was a fastball right down the middle, and I put a lot of contact on it. I just tried to put it in play."

Franco on his go-ahead homer

It was Galvis' three-run shot in the seventh last week -- also off Grant Dayton -- that propelled the Phils over the sweep-seeking Dodgers.

"That's a game that leaves a sour taste in your mouth," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "We got on [Jerad] Eickhoff early … then he settled in. We got a homer late, but couldn't get anything going against the bullpen."

Roberts said the decision to let Dayton face the right-handed-hitting Franco came down to a numbers game. Did he want to let the lefty Dayton face Franco or have a right-hander face Ryan Howard, who has heavier platoon splits?

"You've got two of the three where you like the matchup," Roberts said. "The other one, you've got one out of three. So it's kind of like, I'll take my chances on the odds."

Eickhoff navigated two Dodgers blasts and completed six innings, becoming the first Phillies starter to do so in nine games.

The loss was just the Dodgers' fourth in their past 11 games. Over that stretch, they've gone from two down in the National League West to overtake first place from the Giants, though the loss drops their lead to a half-game as San Francisco defeated the Mets late Thursday.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Stripling strands 'em: Toward the end of the fifth inning, Dodgers starter Ross Stripling's command evaded him. He had struck out Odubel Herrera for the first out and gotten Galvis to ground out for the second. But then Franco doubled. Stripling walked Ryan Howard and issued another free pass to Cameron Rupp, loading the bases. But Stripling finished his night by fanning Jimmy Paredes and stranding three Phillies on the bases. The pair of walks were Stripling's only of the night, finishing five innings after giving up three runs (two earned).

Stripling escapes a jam

"It's one of those things where you limit damage," Roberts said. "We made an error. We didn't play good defense behind him. But he picked us up and came out of that inning ... and pitched well enough to give us a win."

Turner keeps Dodgers hot: Justin Turner didn't wait long to make it known that Dodger Power Hour would continue for a third night in Philadelphia. Following singles from Chase Utley and Corey Seager to lead off the game, Turner curved a sky-high homer around the left-field foul pole for his second in as many nights. Yasmani Grandal added a fourth-inning solo shot for the Dodgers' ninth dinger of the three-game series.

Eickhoff goes six: Eickhoff's night did not start out well, as the first three Dodgers who came to the plate scored. But to the bullpen's relief, Eickhoff didn't let that result in a short outing. Eickhoff's line was by no means spectacular (four earned runs, seven hits, eight strikeouts and two walks in six innings), but he gave the Phillies a chance and relievers some necessary rest. More >

Eickhoff's eight strikeouts

Howard stays hot: Howard continued his recent power surge Thursday, blasting his 19th homer of the season in the fourth inning. The solo shot accounted for Howard's fifth homer and 13th RBI of the month, and Thursday marked just his ninth game in August.

Howard's solo homer

He just looks like he's seeing the ball a lot better," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of Howard. "He's made some adjustments to his swing path, and he's more spread out than he has been, kind of reverting back to the way he used to hit." More >

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Turner's first-inning home run left the bat at an angle of 45 degrees, per Statcast™. It was just the third homer this season to be hit at an angle of 45 degrees or more. Mark Teixeira hit the highest home run this season July 3 in San Diego, with a launch angle of 47.8 degrees.

Statcast: Turner's moonshot

WHAT'S NEXT
Dodgers: After finishing up their series in Philadelphia, the Dodgers fly to Cincinnati, where they open a weekend set with the Reds on Friday. Bud Norris makes his first start since injuring his back in a start on July 31, facing Tim Adleman in the series opener at 4:10 p.m. PT.

Phillies: The Phillies begin three-game series with the Cardinals at 7:05 p.m. ET Friday night in Philadelphia. Adam Morgan will be on the mound to make his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley earlier in the month. Morgan had his last start cut short when a comebacker hit him in the left forearm, but he has been cleared to start.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Dodgers on Thursday.

Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.