Phillies: Maikel Franco slugs HR, 4 RBI against Nick Pivetta

Maikel Franco #3 of the Baltimore Orioles (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Maikel Franco #3 of the Baltimore Orioles (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Third baseman Maikel Franco and right-handed starting pitcher Nick Pivetta are among the dozens of former Philadelphia Phillies players donning different uniforms this season. The two just happened to face each other Sunday afternoon, as Pivetta’s Boston Red Sox opposed Franco’s Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Former Phillies Maikel Franco, Nick Pivetta face off in Baltimore.

Franco did not have any trouble finding success against his former Phillies teammate. Although he lined into a double play in the second, two innings later he hit a one-out RBI single to score the first Orioles run of the game.

In the bottom of the sixth, Franco then slugged a three-run, 405-foot home run to left field against Pivetta  — shrinking his team’s deficit to 10-4.

Franco increased his season RBI total to nine in the eventual 14-9 Orioles loss, whereas Pivetta improved to 2-0 with a 3.27 season ERA — allowing seven hits, four runs (all via Franco), and three walks, while striking out seven of his 26 batters faced through six innings and 101 pitches.

To put things into perspective, all five Phillies starting pitchers combined have just one winning decision (Zack Wheeler). Meanwhile, the Phillies RBI leader is J.T. Realmuto (6), followed by Alec Bohm (5), Didi Gregorius (4), Rhys Hoskins (4), and Bryce Harper (3).

Pivetta is now 4-0 in his Red Sox career through four starts, all the while recording a 2.57 ERA and 24-12 strikeouts-to-walks ratio through 21 innings pitched. Franco, on the other hand, has slugged a combined nine home runs and 47 RBI in 69 American League games — with the Kansas City Royals (2020) and Orioles (2021) — since he last played with the Phillies in 2019.

The Phillies will look to rebound Sunday evening against the Atlanta Braves and avoid the series sweep. Among their former players now with their division rival include catcher Travis d’Arnaud (prospect), and pitchers Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly. Veteran left-hander Matt Moore will take the mound for his second start with the team.

More. Didi Gregorius off to hot start in 2nd season with Phillies. light