MILWAUKEE (AP) A change in approach during batting practice paid off big for Maikel Franco, who hit two long home runs to power the Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
''We talked to him before the game about pulling the ball,'' Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin said. ''A lot of guys work so much on going to the opposite field. If you think about pulling the ball, then you stay back a little more.''
The right-handed hitting Franco hit a two-run home run to left field in the fifth to give Philadelphia a 4-1 lead. His blast followed a run-scoring triple by Freddy Galvis. Franco hit a solo shot over the Brewers bullpen in left in the seventh to stake the Phillies to a four-run lead.
''I've been in a tough slump,'' Franco said.
The Phillies snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Brewers and won for just the seventh time in the last 28 games against NL Central foes.
Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola (1-2), who was rocked for seven runs over five innings in his last start, allowed four singles over seven innings and retired 11 consecutive batters at one point and 16 of 17 to close out his outing.
Nola showed pin-point command throughout a mostly dominant performance.
''I felt like I really needed to command the baseball inside a lot more and after the first couple innings I felt like I got more comfortable,'' Nola said.
Nola struck out seven and threw 74 of his 105 pitches for strikes, keeping Brewers batters off balance throughout the game, often with an unusual arm angle.
''He had a little three-quarter arm slot,'' said Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who had one hit in three at-bats against Nola. ''He made good pitches.''
Milwaukee starter Zach Davies (0-2), who also struggled in his previous start on Sunday, giving up five earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, had another rough outing, surrendering four runs and nine hits over six innings. He struck out five, walked a batter and hit another.
The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the first on Chris Carter's run-scoring single. The Phillies tied the game in the fourth on Darin Ruf's RBI single.
The Brewers added a run in the ninth on consecutive doubles by Carter and Aaron Hill.
Philadephia's Odubel Herrera, who had drawn at least one walk over seven consecutive games, reached base just once, on a single, in five at-bats, but managed to extend his on-base streak to 14 games, the second-longest of his career. Herrera leads the National League with 15 walks.
Franco recorded his second career multi-homer game. He homered off Chris Capuano for the second round-tripper in each game. Franco belted two home runs against the Yankees in New York last June 22.
Phillies: C Jorge Alfaro, a top prospect in the Phillies' farm system, could be back in Double-A Reading's lineup next week. Alfaro, who is hitting .500 (18-for-36) with a .750 slugging percentage, is on the 7-day DL with a strained right oblique. He's eligible to be re-instated on Monday.
Brewers: Capuano, who has twice undergone Tommy John surgery, has made a team-leading eight appearances out of the bullpen, pitching multiple innings in four consecutive outings coming into Friday's game. Capuano, a non-roster invitee to spring training, pitched one inning against the Phillies. ''You're judging the number of pitches, but anytime a guy throws two innings the day before, you're going to be a little hesitant and check with him to make sure he's doing all right,'' manager Craig Counsell said.
Phillies: Charlie Morton (1-1, 3.86 ERA) will make his fourth start of the season. After getting roughed up in his first outing, Morton gave up just one run and seven hits in 12 2/3 innings over his next two starts. He is 4-7 in his career against the Brewers.
Brewers: Chase Anderson (1-1, 2.25) struggled in his last outing, surrendering five runs (four earned) and a career-worst 11 hits over five innings. Anderson is 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA in two career starts against the Phillies, both coming last year with Arizona.