ATLANTA - Maikel Franco has just two hits in his last two games, but he might be showing signs that he is near to breaking his slump.
"Freddy gave me his bat," Franco said, pointing to Freddy Galvis' locker. "That's what I've been using the last two days."
Franco drove in the Phillies' only run Thursday in a 3-1 loss to the Braves. He went the other way on an R.A. Dickey knuckleball and lashed it to right field. He flied out to deep center (exit velocity of 96 mph according to MLB.com's Statcast) in the second and lined out to center (exit velocity 95 mph) in the fifth.
Franco made solid contact for the second straight day, which manager Pete Mackanin believes is a sign that Franco could be finding his swing the way that Odubel Herrera did this month.
"If you look at Franco's numbers, as bad as he's been swinging the bat, what's he got, seven home runs and 30 RBIs," Mackanin said. "If he can build on that and the last two games with the way he's swung the bat, I'm sure he's building confidence for himself."
Franco's RBI was just his second since May 19. He has six hits in his last 28 at-bats, as his statistics are still in a funk. But just two strikeouts in those 28 at-bats plus the quality contact he made here in Atlanta seem to show that a streak is near. His exit velocities on Wednesday were 105, 105, and 103 mph.
"It doesn't matter if it's at people, I just need to go out there and have a good at-bat and make good contact with it. That's happened the last two days," Franco said. "I've seen the ball really good and taken a good at-bat. [Wednesday] night, it was a good one for me. Today, I just threw one bat away – the last one. But everything is going good for me right now."
Galvis told Franco before Tuesday's game to use one of his bats, which are an ounce lighter than Franco's stock.
"When I got three hard contacts and a base hit, I said I want to use it again today," Franco said. "So tomorrow, it's going to be the same thing."
And if Franco breaks one of Galvis' bats, will he buy him a new one?
"If I break one, I'll just go in his locker and grab another one," Franco said.