Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Franco scores phantom run with solid acting

Dodgers miss chance to appeal runner missing home plate
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

LOS ANGELES -- Maikel Franco did not come within a foot of touching home plate in the top of the second inning Thursday at Dodger Stadium.

He still scored to hand the Phillies the game's first lead in a 2-1 victory.

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- Maikel Franco did not come within a foot of touching home plate in the top of the second inning Thursday at Dodger Stadium.

He still scored to hand the Phillies the game's first lead in a 2-1 victory.

View Full Game Coverage

Franco stood on second base with two outs in the second, when Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro laced a single to center field against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. The throw from center fielder Cody Bellinger arrived before Franco reached the plate, but catcher Yasmani Grandal could not handle it.

Franco ran past the plate without touching it. Home-plate umpire Will Little called Franco safe. The Dodgers never argued, perhaps not seeing a replay before Kershaw threw his first pitch to Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola. Franco said he knew he had not touched the plate, but he never turned back because he figured Grandal would figure out what had happened.

"A couple guys asked me right away, 'Did you touch home plate?'" Franco said. "I was like, 'No.' But that's all that matters. We got the run and we won the game."

As Phillies right-hander Tommy Hunter put it, Franco got an Oscar (in Hollywood, no less) for acting.

"Don't go back because he has the ball right there," Franco said. "If I try to go right back, I'm probably going to be out. I walked to the dugout and just waited to see what would happen."

Typically, the umpire makes a safe call only if he believes the runner touched home plate. Otherwise, by rule it is a no-call situation.

If the Dodgers had realized that Franco never touched the plate, they first would have needed to appeal the play by either tagging Franco or the plate. If Little had again ruled Franco safe, the Dodgers then could have challenged the call.

If properly appealed, the replay official could have called out Franco.

The Phillies could not believe nobody on the Dodgers noticed, especially considering the video replay technology available.

"There was [nothing] awkward getting in there by the runner, and I just assumed he touched the plate," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "We just didn't see it."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Maikel Franco