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TEX@PHI: Francisco belts two-run shot to left

PHILADELPHIA -- Ben Francisco can't control the Phillies' roster or their lineup.

He controls only himself.

"I've got to go out there and play, and when I play, I have to play well," he said following Friday's 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers at Citizens Bank Park. "It's up to me."

Francisco hit a two-run home run to left field in the second inning to give the Phillies a one-run lead. It was a big hit for a team desperate to score runs. It was a bigger hit for Francisco, who needs to start hitting to stay in the lineup with Domonic Brown in town.

"I haven't been as productive as I've liked the last few weeks," Francisco said.

Francisco won the everyday job in right field after a solid Spring Training, but he entered Friday with just three hits in his last 36 at-bats (.083) and just one RBI in his last 15 games. The combination of the team's struggles in right field and Shane Victorino's trip to the disabled list influenced the Phillies to call up Brown, who is the organization's top prospect, earlier than they wanted.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he expects Brown to get the majority of the playing time in right against right-handed pitchers, possibly limiting Francisco's at-bats almost exclusively to left-handers. But Francisco had hit just .189 (7-for-37) with two doubles and five RBIs against left-handers before Friday.

Those numbers will have to improve.

He hopes Friday's homer against Rangers left-hander C.J. Wilson is a start of something good. It was his first homer since April 26 and first extra-base hit since April 27.

"It felt like old times," Francisco said.

Raul Ibanez crushed a solo homer to center field in the fourth inning to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. It was the first homer Wilson had allowed to a left-handed hitter in the regular season since June 3, 2008, when he allowed one to Shin-Soo Choo.

Three runs would have to be enough for Phillies ace Roy Halladay, although the pitching staff is accustomed to pitching with little run support. The Phillies have not scored four or more runs in a game since May 13, when they beat the Braves in Atlanta, 5-4. They also set a franchise record Friday with their seventh consecutive game with six or fewer hits.

"I don't think you can think about it, you just try to do your job," Halladay said. "If you go out there trying to win the game yourself or do too much or feel like you can't make mistakes, it compounds the problem. For all the starters, we're just trying to stay consistent and give ourselves and give the team a chance to win. Hopefully, we're getting to a point where we can start doing that. It's been a tough stretch. The more you grind at it, the more you put pressure on yourself and everybody around you, the worse it gets."

Halladay allowed back-to-back singles to start the game to put runners at the corners. Elvis Andrus and Mitch Moreland successfully executed a double steal, with Andrus stealing home to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.

Halladay retired 11 consecutive batters until Adrian Beltre doubled with two outs in the fourth. He allowed a run in the eighth to make it 3-2 when pinch-hitter Endy Chavez doubled and later scored on a groundout.

Halladay allowed six hits, two runs, one walk and struck out seven in eight innings to improve to 6-3 with a 2.21 ERA.

Ryan Madson picked up his eighth save in the ninth. Carlos Ruiz threw out David Murphy trying to steal second base to end the game.

"That's the way we play," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He saw an opportunity to get to second base and get into scoring position. Game of inches. He got a good jump, but [Ruiz] made a good throw."

Francisco, who went 1-for-2 with a walk, had a good night. He knows he needs more of them, because Manuel also has to find time for John Mayberry Jr., who hits right-handed.

"I guess I might want to get lucky," Manuel said. "I want to put the guys in the game that are going to do something. I don't think that will work all the time, but I'd like to establish a guy I can use most of the time. It's up to how they play and how they do." Comments