PHILADELPHIA » Ben Francisco’s transition back to the bench is easier to accept when he delivers clutch hits.
Francisco’s pinch-hit RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Philadelphia Phillies to a 1-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.
“It’s not easy not playing,” said Francisco, who began the season as the starting right fielder. “We’ve been winning, so I have to just try to continue to work. I know we have a lot of games left and if I can be consistent, maybe I’ll get a chance.”
In a game in which rookie starters Vance Worley and Guillermo Moscoso took no-hitters into the sixth, neither team got a runner to third until the ninth.
Shane Victorino walked to start the inning against Brian Fuentes (1-8). He went to second on Domonic Brown’s one-out single to right. Both runners advanced on Brian Schneider’s grounder to first. Francisco then hit a high bouncer over third baseman Scott Sizemore’s head to drive in Victorino.
“Any time you get a walk-off win, it’s exciting for everybody,” Francisco said. “I was trying to put a good swing on the ball. I slipped in the box and swung one-legged.”
Michael Stutes (3-0) pitched a perfect ninth to get the win for the major league-leading Phillies (48-29). Four pitchers combined on the two-hitter.
Philadelphia’s Worley allowed one hit and walked four in six innings, tying for the longest of his eight career starts.
“I knew I didn’t have great stuff and gave it my best,” Worley said. “Those guys took a lot of pitches and made me work.”
Moscoso gave up two hits and walked three in a career-high seven innings.
Hideki Matsui lined a double to left-center with two outs in the sixth for the first hit of the game. Victorino made a diving attempt for the ball, but it was way out of his reach.
A disappointed Worley slumped off the mound as fans gave him a nice ovation.
Placido Polanco lined a single to center for Philadelphia’s first hit with one out in the bottom half.
The last time both starting pitchers took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of the same game was June 13, 2010, according to STATS, LLC. Chicago Cubs lefty Ted Lilly lost his no-hitter in the ninth and White Sox righty Gavin Floyd lost his bid in the seventh.
“It’s frustrating,” Moscoso said. “We played real good baseball. That was a tough loss.”