Franco, Altherr homer in Phils' 8-2 victory over Mariners

Maikel Franco put the Philadelphia Phillies ahead to stay with his bat. His defense earned him a hug.

Franco and Arron Altherr homered, Aaron Nola pitched seven effective innings and the Phillies overcame an early deficit for an 8-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

Franco opened the seventh with his 10th homer, sending a 1-0 pitch from James Paxton over the wall in left-center to put the Phillies up 3-2. In the bottom half, he helped preserve the lead with a diving stab on Jean Segura's hard-hit grounder to third with two runners on.

"As soon as I slid and made that play, I just got up and threw," said Franco, who got a hug from Nola after the inning. "And it was not a perfect throw, but that was my play. Nola did a really good job. That's the little things to win the ballgame. In that situation, bottom of the seventh, two outs, two guys on first and second, that was a big play."

The Phillies made it 4-2 in the eighth on an RBI single by Freddy Galvis and then added four unearned runs in the ninth, capped by Altherr's two-run drive for his 13th homer.

Nola (5-5) gave up five hits, including Segura's two-run homer in the third. He struck out nine and walked four, both tying career highs, in a 113-pitch outing.

"He's been pitching really well," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "His ball-to-strike ratio wasn't the greatest but he just kept nibbling in the right spots, made pitches when he had to. He was really good. He walked four, but he struck out nine and really kept us in the game."

Paxton (5-3) gave up three runs and four hits in seven innings. He struck out nine and walked three in losing his third consecutive decision.

Seattle lost its third straight after a season-best six-game winning streak.

The Phillies, who won for just the 11th time on the road against 31 losses, erased a 2-0 deficit in the fifth. They loaded the bases on a double by Franco, Cameron Perkins' infield single and a walk to Cameron Rupp. Ty Kelly followed with a sacrifice fly to center, with Perkins advancing to third. Daniel Nava delivered a sacrifice fly to right.

"I thought Paxton threw the ball pretty well," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He had the one inning with the bases loaded and a couple sac flies, worked through that. The home run on a mistake, it stayed in the middle of the plate. Overall I thought it was a pretty good outing. Certainly early on, had them going and was piling up a few strikeouts. I thought his stuff was fine tonight, just made a couple mistakes."

Seattle threatened in the sixth when Ben Gamel walked and moved to third on Robinson Cano's single. Nola escaped by striking out Nelson Cruz for the third time and enticing Kyle Seager into a double-play grounder.

"That was really big," Nola said. "I had a few stressful innings right there and guys on the basepaths. Seager beat that curveball into the ground and we turned a big double play."


Altherr reached on an infield single to open the third inning, narrowly beating the off-balance throw by third baseman Seager, who made a barehanded pickup of the slow roller. The Mariners challenged and the call was overturned after a review of 2 minutes.


Phillies: LF Howie Kendrick, who missed the last four games with a sore left hamstring, was in the lineup as the designated hitter. "He can control his running from base to base," Mackanin said. "When you have to make quick spurts here and there defensively, he's concerned about that. He says he's OK to DH." ... RHP Jerad Eickhoff, on the 10-day DL with an upper back strain, is getting closer to returning. "He's going to throw a side tomorrow, then we'll make a decision on what to do with him after that," Mackanin said.

Mariners: 1B Danny Valencia, who missed the last two games with a sore right wrist, and Gamel, who missed one game with a sore groin and swollen lymph nodes, both were back in the lineup, aided by Monday's day off. . .. LHP Drew Smyly, sidelined all season by a left arm flexor strain, will not pitch a simulated game Wednesday as originally planned after some discomfort following bullpen sessions. No timetable has been set for his next step.


Phillies: RHP Mark Leiter Jr. (1-0, 3.60 ERA) makes his second start to close out the two-game series at Safeco Field on Wednesday afternoon. Leiter picked up his first major league win in his last start, allowing just three hits in six scoreless innings against Arizona.

Mariners: Felix Hernandez (3-2, 4.68 ERA) makes his second start since coming off the DL after being sidelined by shoulder inflammation. The ace right-hander allowed three runs in six innings in his last start, a 13-3 victory over Houston. He is 23-9 in 41 career interleague starts.