Franco leaves game with back tightness

Phillies prospect Maikel Franco. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)

ALLENTOWN -- Lehigh Valley’s Maikel Franco, The Inquirer’s No. 2 Phillies prospect, left Tuesday’s 7-6 loss to visiting Buffalo at the end of the fourth inning with back tightness.

Primarily a third baseman, Franco started the game at first base and went 0 for 2 before departing.

After grounding out to third base in the bottom of the fourth, he left the game.

“Today I felt something in my back,” he said after the game. “I felt a little tightness and hopefully I will be ready for tomorrow.”

Before the game, Franco said he felt some discomfort.

“It was just a little,” he said. “It got worse during the game.”

Franco said he would be arriving at Coca-Cola Park early for treatment, well before the IronPigs game with Pawtucket.  

Franco is batting .232 with six home runs, 46 RBIs and a .646 OPS. He dug himself into a huge hole by hitting .172 with a .487 OPS in April.

Franco has been hitting better lately. Entering Tuesday, he had a .939 OPS for the month of July.