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Francis dominates Reds, helps Rockies snap two-game skid

Jun 3, 2007 - 5:55 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Jeff Francis continued to impress and Todd Helton made sure his work was rewarded.

Francis threw seven dominant innings and Helton had a first-inning two-run homer as the Colorado Rockies posted a 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

Francis (5-4) retired his first 12 hitters and allowed just one hit through five innings in the shortest game in Coors Field history at 2 hours, 11 minutes.

"Yeah, your cleanup hitter hits a home run in the first inning," Francis said. "There's nothing better than that. It's just what you're looking for. He has been anchoring the lineup."

Meanwhile Francis has been anchoring the pitching staff. The 26-year-old has allowed two runs or less in his last six starts, came through to help the Rockies snap a two-game skid and avoid their longest losing streak of the season.

However, Francis does not think of himself as a stopper.

"I'm really thinking about it like that," Francis said. "It's nice to be on a roll and to be that guy the team can depend on to win one."

Colorado manager Clint Hurdle spoke of Francis' hot streak.

"He has just really been pitching, making pitches," he said. "His last five starts he's been on a nice streak we haven't seen around here in a long time."

The lefthander has been Colorado's best starter, throwing at least seven innings in his last seven starts. On Saturday, he allowed just one run and five hits in seven frames with six strikeouts and one walk.

Francis lost his shutout bid in the seventh when he allowed consecutive doubles to Alex Gonzalez and Edwin Encarnacion.

"Jeff Francis pitched really well and kept us off-balance," Cincinnati manager Jerry Narron said. "Kyle (Lohse) did a nice job for us, too. He made one mistake there to Helton in the first inning and Helton took advantage of it."

Manny Corpas pitched a scoreless eighth and Brian Fuentes worked the ninth for his 16th save in as many chances.

Helton provided Francis with an early cushion by blasting a two-run homer to center field in the first. It was his sixth home run of the season.

"I hit it good, obviously, but you never know here the way the ball is flying," Helton said.

Francis was ecstatic to have the early run support.

"It's great having a lead early in the game," Francis said. "Especially with the way I felt. It was just kind of a boost and you can go after guys a little more."

Kaz Matsui, who had two hits, scored two of the four runs for Colorado, which has won three of the four meeting this season with the Reds.

Matsui gave the Rockies a 3-0 lead when he led off the fourth with a single and took off for second with Matt Holliday at the plate. Holliday hit a pop out to second, but Brandon Phillips could not make a play because he was covering second.

Lohse (2-7) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings for the Reds, who had won five of their last six games.








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

    BATTERIES: CIN - KYLE LOHSE, MIKE STANTON (7TH) AND DAVID ROSS
    COL - JEFF FRANCIS, MANNY CORPAS (8TH), BRIAN FUENTES
    (9TH) AND CHRIS IANNETTA

    HOME RUNS: CIN - NONE
    COL - TOD

    Jun 2 10:17 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY MIKE STANTON ALLOWED RYAN SPILBORGHS TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, W TAVERAS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    COLORADO 4 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: K MATSUI (.315, 2-FOR-3)

    Reds vs. RockiesJun 2 10:08 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY EDWIN ENCARNACION SCORED ALEX GONZALEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E ENCARNACION ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    COLORADO 3 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: D ROSS (.203, 0-FOR-2)

    Reds vs. RockiesJun 2 9:44 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 43 roots

    Reds vs. RockiesJun 2 9:16 PM
  • 43
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 43 roots (No-hitter)

    Reds vs. RockiesJun 2 9:05 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MATT HOLLIDAY SCORED KAZ MATSUI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M HOLLIDAY ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    COLORADO 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: T HELTON (.342, 1-FOR-1, HR, 2 RBI)

    Reds vs. RockiesJun 2 8:49 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY TODD HELTON (6) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 1ST OFF KYLE LOHSE SCORED KAZ MATSUI.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0, COLORADO 2
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: T TULOWITZKI (.272, 2 HR, 22 RBI)

    Reds vs. RockiesJun 2 8:20 PM