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Herrera, Franco starting to move past slumps

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Maybe patience isn't such a terrible thing.

Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco had a collection of clutch hits Sunday afternoon in a 9-7 victory over the Giants at Citizens Bank Park, helping the Phillies win back-to-back games for the first time since a six-game winning streak April 20-27 and their first series victory since April 26-27. Herrera had two doubles, one home run and three RBIs. Franco hit a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Maybe patience isn't such a terrible thing.

Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco had a collection of clutch hits Sunday afternoon in a 9-7 victory over the Giants at Citizens Bank Park, helping the Phillies win back-to-back games for the first time since a six-game winning streak April 20-27 and their first series victory since April 26-27. Herrera had two doubles, one home run and three RBIs. Franco hit a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning.

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"It feels really good," Franco said. "It's been a tough month for me, but I'm trying to just throw that away and think about the new day and try to do everything I can to do better."

Video: SF@PHI: Franco lifts a go-ahead solo home run in 8th

Herrera and Franco have struggled much of the season. Herrera began Sunday 164th out of 172 qualified hitters with a .607 OPS, while Franco ranked 160th with a .636 OPS. Both players have been benched and dropped in the lineup in recent weeks. Frustrated fans have called for the pair to be optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, which is something the Phillies considered with Franco.

It is a small sample size, but perhaps they are beginning to break out of their season-long funks. Franco is hitting .375 (6-for-16) with one double, one home run and one RBI in his past four games. Herrera hit .625 (5-for-8) with four doubles, one home run and six RBIs in this weekend's games against the Giants.

Video: SF@PHI: Herrera drives in Hernandez with a double

"I tried to be as patient as possible," Herrera said through the Phillies' interpreter. "When you go through a tough time, it is frustrating. And sometimes you have to let that frustration out. But you have to believe in yourself. I know what I'm supposed to do. I know what I have to do better. You have to be patient and stay positive."

Galvis homers from both sides of plate

Herrera also has to have a game plan. He said he has been more focused as he enters the batter's box.

"I'm being more selective right now and more disciplined at the plate," Herrera said. "I'm letting the pitcher throw his pitches and wait for the ones that I like."

 Video: SF@PHI: Herrera lifts a solo shot to center field

Herrera is known for his prodigious bat flips, which seems to agitate more than a few old-school baseball fans and lifers. So it is worth nothing that Herrera very gently dropped his bat when he homered in the fifth inning against Giants right-hander George Kontos.

"I learned my lesson from yesterday," Herrera said with a smile. "I thought I hit one out of the park and it didn't go out."

Herrera's ball traveled a projected 414 feet, according to Statcast™. Franco's sailed 396 feet.

"That's what makes this whole thing better," Herrera said about Franco homering in a big spot in the game. "When he starts being productive, the whole team is better. And that's what this is all about. It's a team effort."

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

Philadelphia Phillies, Maikel Franco, Odubel Herrera