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Francis dominant as Rockies win sixth straight

May 28, 2007 - 11:17 PM DENVER (Ticker) -- Jeff Francis and the Colorado Rockies continue to have the hot hand.

Francis pitched into the eighth inning and Matt Holiday and Brad Hawpe smacked homers as the Rockies won their season-high sixth straight game with a 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday afternoon.

Kaz Matsui had two hits and an RBI for Colorado, which had not secured this many wins in a row since reeling off six straight from May 21-26, 2002.

"It feels good, anytime you've won six in a row. We're playing good baseball right now," Holliday said.

"I think we've always expected this out of ourselves," Francis said. "Right now, these last six games, we're doing what we've always expected to do."

Francis (4-4) entered the game on a roll, posting a 2-0 mark with a 1.54 ERA over his last four starts - one of which was against the Cardinals on May 7. The 6-5 lefthander did not receive a decision in that game - a 3-2 Rockies win - though he allowed just two runs, four hits and three walks in seven innings.

It was an even more impressive outing this time around for Francis, who had a shutout with two outs in the eighth inning before yielding a two-run homer to So Taguchi - the last batter he faced.

"I tried to go after them early in the game and I was throwing the ball away a lot, so I could tell they were trying to adjust to that," Francis said. "I tried to change speeds a little more and mix up the pitches and not try to get into a pattern."

"He was efficient," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He had 12 ground-ball outs and was very, very effective. He pitched a good ballgame for us today."

He allowed two runs and five hits in 7 2/3 frames, while striking out three and walking one. Ramon Ramirez got the final out in the eighth, and Jorge Julio hurled a clean ninth to finish the game.

"The first time around he got us with the fastball and got ahead and the second and third times through he started throwing a little bit of off-speed, and he was working ahead," said Cardinals left fielder Ryan Ludwick, who went 0-for-4 Monday. "We had a couple good swings on him, but for the most part he did a good job. We just didn't get the job done today."

Holliday belted a solo homer off St. Louis starter Kip Wells (2-9) in the first to start the scoring. After the Rockies added two runs in the fifth, Hawpe highlighted a three-run seventh with a two-run blast to make it 6-0.

"He (Wells) made too many mistakes, and offensively, we had two little rallies. We didn't give him any room for mistakes offensively," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

Willy Taveras and Matsui singled to lead off the inning and, after Holliday grounded out to short to score a run, Hawpe followed with his soaring blast to left.

"You get those two guys (Taveras and Matsui) on base, it just changes everything. They're just so fast," Hawpe said. "It's really nice to have them get on base to start the game or start some innings, it's good for us."

Wells yielded six runs - five earned - and 11 hits in 6 1/3 frames for Cardinals, who have lost three out of their last four contests.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 5 2
    COLORADO 1 0 0 0 2 0 3 0 x 6 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: STL - KIP WELLS, KELVIN JIMENEZ (7TH), TROY CATE (8TH) AND GARY
    BENNETT
    COL - JEFF FRANCIS, RAMON RAMIREZ (8TH), JORGE JULIO
    (9TH) AND CHRIS IANNETTA

    HOME RUNS:

    May 28 5:35 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY SO TAGUCHI (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF JEFF FRANCIS SCORED AARON MILES.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2, COLORADO 6
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.298, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 28 5:21 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY BRAD HAWPE (6) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF KIP WELLS SCORED KAZ MATSUI.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0, COLORADO 6
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.216, 0-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 28 5:04 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY MATT HOLLIDAY SCORED WILLY TAVERAS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K MATSUI ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    COLORADO 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: B HAWPE (.286, 1-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 28 5:03 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    PASSED BALL BY GARY BENNETT ALLOWED KAZ MATSUI TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    COLORADO 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: M HOLLIDAY (.345, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 28 4:17 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KAZ MATSUI SCORED JEFF FRANCIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K MATSUI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    COLORADO 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: M HOLLIDAY (.345, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 28 4:16 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MATT HOLLIDAY (9) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 1ST OFF KIP WELLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0, COLORADO 1
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: B HAWPE (.285, 5 HR, 27 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 28 3:16 PM