Franco smacks 30th homer on birthday

Phils' No. 2 prospect hits game-tying long ball in Reading win

Maikel Franco is hitting .328 in 62 Eastern League games. (Danny Wild/

By Staff | August 26, 2013 11:48 PM ET

Maikel Franco celebrated his 21st birthday in style on Monday night, slugging his 30th homer of the season in the Reading Fightin Phils' 7-6 win over the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

With the Phils trailing, 6-4, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Franco cracked a game-tying roundtripper off reliever Cody Hall. The hosts went on to win the game on a walk-off homer by Kelly Dugan to right-center field an inning later.

Franco has 14 of his homers in the Eastern League, where he's batting .328 over 62 games. He hit .299 with 16 homers in 65 appearances with Class A Advanced Clearwater prior to his promotion.


Portland right fielder J.C. Linares homered twice and plated a career-high six runs in the Sea Dogs' 10-3 win over the host New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Linares has six long balls and 44 RBIs in 74 Eastern League games after hitting 16 across two levels last season.

Catcher Christian Vazquez reached base three times, scored two runs and plated one more, while center fielder Shannon Wilkerson and designated hitter Garin Cecchini each collected two hits at the top of the lineup.

New Hampshire's Gabe Jacobo smacked a two-run homer and finished with three RBIs.


Arkansas leadoff hitter Randal Grichuk went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, three RBIs and a run scored at the top of the order as the Travelers beat the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, 9-5.

Catcher Jett Bandy went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI double and third baseman Kaleb Jones reached base three times and scored once in the win.

Naturals right fielder Jorge Bonifacio blasted a three-run homer -- his second at this level and his fourth overall.


Bryan Evans (6-5) pitched the first complete-game shutout of his six-year professional career as the Jacksonville Suns topped the host Montgomery Biscuits, 9-0.

Evans allowed two hits and one walk while striking out nine batters and lowering his ERA to 3.68.

Derek Dietrich supplied the offense with three hits -- including a three-run homer -- and four RBIs, center fielder Isaac Galloway chipped in a pair of hits and two RBIs and left fielder Alex Burg collected two RBIs.


Harrisburg leadoff hitter Billy Burns went 3-for-4 with a double, four runs scored and two RBIs and No. 2 hitter Brian Goodwin was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, three runs scored and a pair of RBIs as the Senators routed the visiting Altoona Curve, 12-5.

First baseman Justin Bloxom added three hits and plated two runs and Steven Souza Jr. and infielder Sean Nicol drove home two runs apiece.

Altoona left fielder Alex Dickerson and second baseman Jarek Cunningham both homered for the Curve.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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