for this game

Francis leads Rockies past Pirates

Jul 18, 2007 - 9:13 PM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Jeff Francis tossed seven strong innings to win his fifth consecutive decision, leading the Colorado Rockies to a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.

Francis (10-5) gave up two runs and six hits, striking out six without a walk. The lefthander departed after throwing 94 pitches.

"My fastball wasn't what I expected it to be but I had a little better luck with my offspeed stuff in terms of getting people out," Francis said. "I changed speeds well enough to get guys to mis-hit some balls and the result was good, we won the game."

Brad Hawpe and Todd Helton each hit two-run homers for the Rockies, who completed a three-game sweep. It marked their first sweep in Pittsburgh since August 25-27, 2000, when the Pirates played at Three Rivers Stadium.

"That's the beautiful thing about winning, that each win breeds more confidence, so we will just keep going after it, keep going along and hopefully in a couple months things will look real good for us," Hawpe said.

The Pirates lost their season-high sixth straight game as they remained winless since the All-Star break.

"When you've got things going on like we have going right now offensively since the (All-Star) break, the margin for error is so slight," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said.

It didn't start bad for the Pirates, who jumped on top in the bottom of the first inning on Adam LaRoche's RBI groundout.

Colorado tied the score in the third. Troy Tulowitzki led off with a double after center fielder Rajai Davis slipped, allowing the ball to drop in.

After Chris Ianetta grounded out, Francis helped his own cause with a run-scoring single. It was his third RBI of the season, all coming in the last two outings.

The Rockies took the lead for good in the fourth. With two outs, Hawpe deposited a ball into the right field seats for his 17th homer, giving Colorado a 3-1 advantage.

"He's murdered righthanded pitching, he's murdered it," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said, referring to Hawpe's .339 average against righthanders this season, including 16 of his 17 homers and 54 of his 64 RBI. "He's put in a lot of hard work, and there's a lot of hard work paying dividends for him."

"The first six weeks, I started off pretty slow, but the last couple months I've felt good," Hawpe said. "I'm seeing the scouting reports, trying to get on base, keep things simple, find pitches to drive and try not to overswing."

Helton's ninth blast of the season came in the sixth, pushing the lead to 5-1. Kazuo Matsui had led off the frame with a single.

Snell (7-7) was roughed up for five runs and five hits in six innings. The righthander walked one and struck out six.

Afterward, Snell was livid, feeling that the Rockies were stealing signs.

"I heard something from another player that somebody was giving signals so hopefully I won't pitch in Colorado (August 20-23) because I know who it is and I will get them," Snell said. "It just doesn't make any sense to give signals but it's alright, I'll get them next time.

"I'll just wait `til next time and see if I pitch against them. If not, I'll let the guy know it's a crock of you know what. I'll just let it breeze over this time."

When asked, Hawpe didn't agree with Snell's assessment.

"I don't even know how many guys we had at second base, so I don't think that was the deal, no," Hawpe said. "You look for fastball and adjust for everything else. Not even close (to stealing signs)."

In the bottom of the sixth, Freddy Sanchez hit his fourth homer of the season and second in four games to pull the Pirates within 5-2.

But Francis retired his final four batters as he improved to 9-1 in his last 13 starts dating to May 12.

"Results-wise, it's been good lately but a starting pitcher can't do that on his own," Francis said. "If you look at the run support I've had behind me, it's been unbelievable. The defense I've had behind me has been almost ridiculous. There's no way that I could take that upon myself."

Jorge Julio pitched the eighth and Manny Corpas worked around a leadoff homer to LaRoche in the ninth for his third save.

Colorado won for the ninth time in 12 games.

"It's nice to come in here and win these games," Helton said. "We just have to keep it going, and keep the same approach for the next four games."








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

    BATTERIES: COL - JEFF FRANCIS, JORGE JULIO (8TH), MANNY CORPAS (9TH) AND CHRIS
    IANNETTA
    PIT - IAN SNELL, JOHN GRABOW (7TH), DAMASO MARTE (9TH),
    SALOMON TORRES (9TH) AND RONNY

    Jul 18 3:04 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ADAM LAROCHE (14) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF MANNY CORPAS.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 5, PITTSBURGH 3
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: X NADY (.284, 0-FOR-3)

    Rockies vs. PiratesJul 18 2:57 PM
  • 5
    roots
    medication Added 5 roots

    Rockies vs. PiratesJul 18 2:28 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY FREDDY SANCHEZ (4) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF JEFF FRANCIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 5, PITTSBURGH 2
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: A LAROCHE (.234, 0-FOR-2, RBI)

    Rockies vs. PiratesJul 18 2:06 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY TODD HELTON (9) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF IAN SNELL SCORED KAZ MATSUI.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 5, PITTSBURGH 1
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.255, 0-FOR-2)

    Rockies vs. PiratesJul 18 1:56 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY BRAD HAWPE (17) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF IAN SNELL SCORED MATT HOLLIDAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 3, PITTSBURGH 1
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: T TULOWITZKI (.289, 1-FOR-1)

    Rockies vs. PiratesJul 18 1:31 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEFF FRANCIS SCORED TROY TULOWITZKI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J FRANCIS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: C SULLIVAN (.394, 0-FOR-1)

    Rockies vs. PiratesJul 18 1:13 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ADAM LAROCHE SCORED RAJAI DAVIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F SANCHEZ ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 0
    PITTSBURGH 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: X NADY (.287, 14 HR, 51 RBI)

    Rockies vs. PiratesJul 18 12:48 PM