Some of Jeff Francoeur’s skills have diminished at 31, but he still has a gun for a right arm and that strength played a pivotal role in Philadelphia beating Pittsburgh 3-2 on Wednesday.
It also helped closer Jonathan Papelbon set Philadelphia’s new career saves mark at 113.
With one out in the ninth inning, Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer came to the plate and lifted a foul ball down the right field line. Francoeur ran it down in foul territory near where the stands jut out toward the field and fired the ball home to catcher Carlos Ruiz.
The throw easily beat pinch runner Steve Lombardozzi who was just getting into his slide when Ruiz turned to tag him for the final out of the game.
Francoeur ranks first among active rightfielders in career assists and third among active outfielders, which makes Pittsburgh’s decision to try to run on him a bit surprising. Others will think twice this season after seeing Francoeur prove he still has plenty of arm.
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