Franklin fills in nicely at shortstop

Franklin fills in nicely at shortstop

Franklin fills in nicely at shortstop

ANAHEIM -- Nick Franklin filled in for the injured Brad Miller at shortstop for the first time Friday and made several excellent defensive plays as well as reviving his bat with a 3-for-5 game in the Mariners' 3-2 loss to the Angels in 11 innings.

Franklin came up through the Minors as a shortstop but was moved to second base by the Mariners. On Friday, Franklin fired a rocket from deep in the hole to get Kole Calhoun in the second inning and also looked sharp in handling several double plays with second baseman Dustin Ackley.

"It was fun for me. I enjoyed it," said Franklin, who put in a lot of work during batting practice the past few days to re-emphasize the longer throw from short.

"I was impressed," said manager Eric Wedge, who had Franklin back at short Saturday. "I thought he did a nice job yesterday. He had quite a bit of action and I liked the way he handled himself. He was really interactive with [infield coach] Robby [Thompson] on the bench, which is good. I thought he handled himself well."

It never hurts to contribute at the plate either, and Franklin put together his first three-hit day since July 28. After batting .296 in his first five weeks in the Majors, the 22-year-old has hit just .186 since July 1 as his average has plummeted to .222.

But he drove a double high off the wall in the seventh inning Friday and hit the ball hard three other times as well in by far his best-looking game at the plate in some time.

"We talked in BP just about going out and having fun," Franklin said. "Just see the ball, hit the ball. And that's what I tried to do."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.