Rockies' Francis shuts down DiamondbacksMay 24, 2007 - 6:29 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Jeff Francis likely doesn't mind having the Arizona Diamondbacks as a rival in the National League West Division.
The lefthander pitched seven scoreless innings and Ryan Spilborghs provided the offense as the Colorado Rockies shut out Arizona, 2-0, on Wednesday.
Francis (3-4), who departed after throwing 119 pitches, allowed five hits and two walks while striking out four. With the win, he improved to 7-1 in 13 career starts against the Diamondbacks.
"I didn't really have a feel for a lot besides my changeup but I was happy to get through it the way I did," Francis said.
Manny Corpus pitched a perfect eighth and Brian Fuentes worked out of trouble in the ninth to complete the combined shutout, earning his 13th save in the process.
Francis, 26, has been excellent over his last four starts, going 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA and pitching at least seven innings in each game.
"When I was going through times when I couldn't locate my fastball and for me it all comes down to that," Francis said. "If I can get ahead with my fastball then as the game goes along maybe get a feel for some of my other pitches. That is usually the key."
Starting in his first game of the season, Spilborghs had two hits and drove in both runs for the Rockies, who have split 12 meetings with the Diamondbacks this season.
"Any chance I get I want to try to do it and take advantage of my opportunities," Spilborghs said. "If it is going in as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning, or whatever, I am trying to do positive things all the time."
Though pinned with the loss, Arizona starter Doug Davis (2-6) also pitched a solid game, allowing two runs, six hits and three walks while striking out four in seven innings.
"The guys have been swinging the bats pretty well, but Francis pitched a great game," Davis said. "He outpitched me and had our batters off-balance all night."
Colorado scored both of their runs in similar fashion.
Jamey Carroll led off the third with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Francis. Spilborghs followed with a double to right-center to plate Carroll.
In the fifth, Carroll led off with a walk and moved to second on another sacrifice by Francis. Spilborghs came through with an RBI single to center this time.
"Jeff put the bunt down that was huge. Without that I wouldn't have the opportunity to get that extra RBI tonight," Spilborghs said. "I have been called up about five times and the confidence will always be there because I am a confident person, but it is nice when you do something good."
Arizona threatened against Francis in both the third and sixth innings but failed to score in each instance.
Francis walked two in the third to put a runner in scoring position with just one out. However, he escaped the jam by getting Conor Jackson and Orlando Hudson to fly out.
"We were in the game but we just didn't muster up enough offense especially early on," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "Pretty lackluster as far as our offense. It seems like the last two games we haven't had a lot of energy."
Two-out singles by Eric Byrnes and rookie Mark Reynolds in the sixth gave Arizona another chance to get on the scoreboard, but Francis struck out Carlos Quentin to end the inning.
"(Francis) continues to grow. He didn't get off the start he wanted to but he has really picked it up his last four or five starts," Rockies' manager Clint Hurdle said. "He threw his best two fastballs in the sixth inning until he threw his best fastball of the night in the seventh."
Fuentes allowed a leadoff single to Reynolds in the ninth and, after recording one out, allowed another base hit to Scott Hairston. However, the lefthanded closer picked Reynolds off second base and then got Chris Snyder to fly out to end the game.
"We work (on pickoff plays) all the time," Fuentes said. "It is something we recognized. I got the heads up on it and it worked out. Most of the time you do it to keep the runner near the base."
Reynolds had three hits for the Diamondbacks, who have not scored in 15 innings.
"(Melvin) told me that (Fuentes) had a pretty good move after the game," Reynolds said. "It was my first time on base against him and I didn't know much about it. They told me to learn from it and next time I won't be out there napping as much."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
COLORADO 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
ARIZONA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: COL - JEFF FRANCIS, MANNY CORPAS (8TH), BRIAN FUENTES (9TH) AND
ARI - DOUG DAVIS, BRANDON MEDDERS (8TH) AND CHRIS
HOME RUNS: COL - NONE
May 24 12:24 AM
AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY RYAN SPILBORGHS SCORED JAMEY CARROLL.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R SPILBORGHS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 2
ARIZONA 0 TOP, 5TH
DUE UP FOR COLORADO: T TULOWITZKI (.255, 0-FOR-2)
Rockies vs. DiamondbacksMay 23 11:00 PM
AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
DOUBLE BY RYAN SPILBORGHS SCORED JAMEY CARROLL.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R SPILBORGHS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 1
ARIZONA 0 TOP, 3RD
DUE UP FOR COLORADO: T TULOWITZKI (.256, 0-FOR-1)
Rockies vs. DiamondbacksMay 23 10:18 PM
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