for this game

Francis outstanding as Rockies blank Giants

Aug 29, 2007 - 11:59 PM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Jeff Francis tossed a six-hitter and Garrett Atkins belted two home runs as the Colorado Rockies posted an easy 8-0 victory over the streaking San Francisco Giants on Wednesday afternoon.

Atkins drove in four runs for the Rockies (68-65), who moved within five games of the San Diego Padres (72-59) for first place in the National League wild card standings. The Padres face off with the NL West Division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks (74-59) later Wednesday night.

Francis (14-6), who tied his career high in wins, pitched a two-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 24, 2006 - his last shutout. On Wednesday, he tossed 119 pitches while striking out three and walking one.

"It's kind of icing on the cake," Francis said. "You go out there and try to win, and when you can do something like that, it's special. But the fact that we win is satisfaction enough.

"I was throwing a good two-seamer in some offensive counts, and I'd throw them up there and they'd ground it out or hit it right back at guys. The defense behind me today was outstanding, not to mention the offense as well."

Atkins hit his first homer of the game in the second inning, a 415-foot blast just to the left of the batter's eye in center. Two outs later, Chris Iannetta added a line-drive homer to left to make it 2-0.

The Rockies scored three times in the third to expand the lead to five. Matt Holliday walked and Todd Helton singled, setting up Atkins, who crushed a fastball up in the zone to left for his second blast.

In the fourth, Giants starter Noah Lowry walked Kaz Matsui and rookie Troy Tulowitzki before leaving the game. Patrick Misch came on to face Holliday, who greeted the rookie with a two-run single to left for a 7-0 bulge.

"Today, we were swinging the bats the way we're capable of, and Jeff pitched a great ballgame," Atkins said. "We didn't know (Lowry) hadn't pitched well in his last outing. We've seen him enough to know what he's got, and I think today was just a matter of him not locating it where he wanted to. His stuff was all right, he just didn't have the command he usually does."

"It carried well for us today," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "We put some swings on some balls that were out over the plate and up a little bit, and our guys were able to take advantage of it. A four-homer day for us is always a good day."

Brad Hawpe capped the scoring in the seventh against reliever Scott Atchison with an opposite-field homer to deep left-center field.

For the second straight start, Lowry (14-8) was hit hard. The lefthander allowed a season-high seven runs and seven hits while walking four in just three innings.

He suffered his first career loss in August after entering with a lifetime 12-0 record in the month. In his last outing, Lowry gave up six runs and a career-high 12 hits but managed to hang on for the win.

"I think he felt a little fatigued there, which could be normal," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We've gone through a grinding schedule here and those starters have been going every fifth day. He just had trouble getting the ball where he wanted, and it was an off-day for him."

"I hate to say it, but I was reaching back and there was nothing behind it," Lowry said. "I thought I got the pitches in on them, but I must not have got it in on them enough if they hit them out."

Rajai Davis had two hits for the last-place Giants (61-73), who had won 11 of their previous 13 games, including six in a row prior to the defeat.

"We played well, I thought, during that span," said Bochy, whose team had just played 31 games in 30 days. "This is the first game we've had like this in a while, and it just got away from us. Overall, we've been in the games, won some tight ones and played some better baseball.

"We just got shut down by a pretty good pitcher that was on top of his game."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    COLORADO 0 2 3 2 0 0 1 0 0 8 13 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: COL - JEFF FRANCIS AND CHRIS IANNETTA
    SFO - NOAH LOWRY, PATRICK MISCH (4TH), SCOTT ATCHISON
    (6TH), TYLER WALKER (8TH), JACK TASCHNER (9TH) AND GUILLERMO
    RODRIGUEZ


    Aug 29 6:08 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRAD HAWPE (25) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF SCOTT ATCHISON.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 8, SAN FRANCISCO 0
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: C IANNETTA (.195, 1-FOR-2, BB, HR, RBI)

    Rockies vs. GiantsAug 29 5:25 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MATT HOLLIDAY SCORED KAZ MATSUI AND TROY
    TULOWITZKI.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M HOLLIDAY ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 7
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: T HELTON (.299, 1-FOR-2)

    Rockies vs. GiantsAug 29 4:37 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY GARRETT ATKINS (20) TO LEFT WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF NOAH LOWRY SCORED MATT HOLLIDAY AND TODD HELTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 5, SAN FRANCISCO 0
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: R SPILBORGHS (.303, 0-FOR-1)

    Rockies vs. GiantsAug 29 4:13 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CHRIS IANNETTA (3) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF NOAH LOWRY.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 2, SAN FRANCISCO 0
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: J FRANCIS (.149, 0 HR, 3 RBI)

    Rockies vs. GiantsAug 29 3:55 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GARRETT ATKINS (19) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF NOAH LOWRY.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 1, SAN FRANCISCO 0
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: R SPILBORGHS (.304, 10 HR, 45 RBI)

    Rockies vs. GiantsAug 29 3:50 PM