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Mechanical adjustment pays off for Franklin

Rays second baseman went deep after 0-for-25 skid at plate

ANAHEIM -- Just when the Angels appeared like they would run away and hide Monday night, Nick Franklin stepped up to make a difference.

Ultimately, that difference could not change the Rays' fortunes -- which were minted in a 7-3 loss -- but it did give the Rays a chance to win.

When the Rays took their turn at bat in the fourth, they were still smarting from Mike Trout's three-run homer in the third that put the Angels up 4-1.

Franklin stepped to the plate with two outs in the fourth and a runner aboard. Garrett Richards fell behind 2-1 in the count when he went with a slider. Franklin met the 87-mph pitch squarely and deposited the ball over the wall in right to cut the lead to 4-3.

"It was a big hit for him, it was a big hit for us at the time, especially against that pitcher," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Franklin entered the at-bat in the midst of an 0-for-25 streak that had him searching for a fix, which mostly dealt with his hand positioning.

"I've been working on it the last two days, I just made that adjustment," Franklin said. "As of right now, I think it's working. I like where I'm at with it. And I'm just going to continue doing it."

Franklin allowed that he's still a work in progress.

"It takes about two weeks to break a bad habit," said Franklin, who made his season debut on May 17 after a stint on the disabled list with a left oblique strain. "You know it's early for me, personally. ... Technically, I just really started with the ABs. I think it's just going to take a little time and I'll get it."

However, getting some immediate results on Monday night was rewarding.

"It's good to see just because it worked," Franklin said. "Some of the balls I've been hitting just haven't fallen. That's baseball. I think this is a good adjustment and I'm just going to try and stick to it."

Cash expressed the hope that the big blow might get Franklin "rolling a little bit."

"I did like the swings he took today," Cash said. "Even his first at-bat. He swung at the first pitch, just missed it. He's taking aggressive hacks and looking to make an impact and damage the baseball. So hopefully he's on the right track."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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