Drew Silva

Shawn Fcasni, Maikel Franco

Maikel Franco takes swings, could return soon from fractured left wrist


From Jim Salisbury at CSNPhilly.com

Maikel Franco on Wednesday received some good news in his comeback from a broken wrist.

The Phillies third baseman was able to take 20 pain-free swings and could start ramping up his hitting program as soon as Friday as he strives to get back for the final couple of weeks of the season.

“It felt really good today,” Franco told Salisbury after his workout Wednesday. “I was very happy. Hopefully I’ll be able to play.”

The 23-year-old has been on the shelf since taking a pitch off his left wrist on August 11.

He was having a breakout rookie season before the injury, slashing .277/.340/.490 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI in 77 games.

Video: David Ortiz slugs 498th career home run

David Ortiz

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz took Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison way, way deep in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday night at Fenway Park for the 498th home run of Big Papi’s illustrious 19-year major league career.

Ortiz is two away from 500 career home runs and seven away from passing Eddie Murray for sole possession of 26th place on the all-time home run leaderboard.

Watch the 39-year-old inch closer to those milestones …

Glen Perkins given another cortisone injection for lingering back injury

86th MLB All-Star Game

Twins closer Glen Perkins hasn’t made an appearance since the first of September due to discomfort in his back and his return to action is not exactly imminent.

Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Perkins received another cortisone injection on Wednesday. He’ll be shut down for the next three days and then try to throw.

Perkins, who was diagnosed with a bulging disk in his neck in mid-August, has already been given two other cortisone injections this year.

Kevin Jepsen is filling in at closer for the Twins, who opened play Wednesday trailing the Rangers by 2 1/2 games in the chase for the second American League Wild Card spot.