Orioles 3B Franco placed on IL with ankle injury

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Maikel Franco (3) walks off the field on his own after slipping while trying to make a catch of a foul ball hit by Houston Astros' Robel Garcia during the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Houston. Left fielder Ryan McKenna (65) made the catch to end the game. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
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BALTIMORE (AP) — The Orioles have placed third baseman Maikel Franco on the 10-day injured list with a problematic ankle sprain that left the team shorthanded when he was unable to play.

Franco missed four straight games — including an entire series against the Angels — after hurting his right ankle in a game at Houston on June 30. Manager Brandon Hyde hoped to have him back Wednesday, but Franco wasn't healthy enough to suit up against Toronto.

“We've been playing with just the infielders that were on the field,” Hyde said. “If something happens, we would have be creative. We felt like he's just not ready to go yet. The ankle is still bothering him.”

Signed as a free agent in March, Franco is batting .221 with nine homers and 42 RBIs in 77 games.

Infielder Kelvin Gutierrez was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to fill out the infield.

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