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Franco homers, collects four hits at Triple-A

Maikel Franco, the Phillies' No. 3 prospect, homered and collected four hits Monday, but it wasn't enough to lead Triple-A Lehigh Valley to victory. Buffalo defeated the visitors, 4-2.

Franco, ranked No. 61 on's Top 100 Prospects list, drove in both of the IronPigs' runs and finished the night 4-for-4 with a stolen base.

Franco began his game with a home run off Buffalo starter Radhames Liz in the first inning. He added singles in all three of his remaining plate appearances to record his second four-hit game of the season and first since July 2.

After struggling in the first half of the season, Franco has found more success at the plate this month. He is hitting .352/.370/.602 in 22 games in July. That performance has helped him raise his overall line to .241/.290/.382 with eight home runs in 100 games this season.

While it hasn't always been easy for Franco this season in Lehigh Valley, he is currently the third-youngest player in the International League. He won't celebrate his 22nd birthday until Aug. 26, making him older than only Indians No. 1 prospect Francisco Lindor and Red Sox No. 1 prospect Mookie Betts, both of whom began the year in Double-A.

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill.
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