for this game

Surging Rockies complete sweep of Padres

Sep 24, 2007 - 1:26 AM By Tim Powers PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN DIEGO (Ticker) - The Colorado Rockies are officially having their best season ever.

Jeff Francis tied a franchise high for wins as the Rockies established a club mark for victories with a 7-3 triumph over the reeling San Diego Padres, completing a sweep of the three-game series on Sunday.

Colorado (84-72) won its eighth straight game to tighten up an already jumbled National League playoff picture, pulling within 1 1/2 games of San Diego (85-70) in the NL wild card standings.

"All we can do is try to win games," Francis said. "That's all that is in our control. We've just got to keep playing hard and keep winning."

The Padres lead Philadelphia (85-71) - which lost 5-3 to Washington - by one-half game in the wild card race and trail Arizona (89-67) by three games in the NL West.

"We lost three in a row, but we still just had a pretty good homestand," Padres starting pitcher Greg Maddux said. "If we kind of go by the loss column and not the half-game or whatever, I think we're still up one or two or whatever. We're still in good position to make it to the postseason."

The season-best winning streak for the Rockies vaulted them past the 1996 and 1997 teams for most wins in franchise history, with both of those clubs having won 83 games.

"We still have unfinished business," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "We haven't gotten involved in the math. We have to win games. That's where our focus is."

Francis (17-8) tossed eight superb innings, beating the Padres for the first time in five tries this season by holding them to two runs and seven hits. The 26-year-old lefthander walked one and struck out eight en route to matching Kevin Ritz (1996) and Pedro Astacio (1999) for single-season wins by a Colorado hurler.

"I think I had better fastball command today," Francis said. "I was ahead of a lot of guys, and got a lot of ground balls to the infielders. It helps pitching with a three-run lead most of the game."

The first blemish on Francis' outstanding performance was a third-inning solo shot surrendered to Milton Bradley that tied the game at 1-1.

Colorado answered with four runs in the next frame against Maddux, stringing together four consecutive hits to take the lead for good.

Maddux made the start despite tweaking his back in his last outing, when he caught his cleat on the mound during a pitch.

The 41-year-old veteran allowed five runs and eight hits in just 3 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out one.

"I didn't make good pitches when I had to," Maddux said. "I wasn't able to make a good pitch and limit the damage or maybe give up one instead of three or four."

A bizarre scene involving Bradley led to his ejection - and apparent injury - in the eighth inning after he reached first base on a two-out single.

The mercurial outfielder traded barbs with first base umpire Mike Winters, arguing about whether Bradley had tossed his bat toward home plate umpire Brian Runge after striking out in the previous at-bat.

Winters eventually tossed Bradley, who had to be restrained and was thrown to the ground by Padres manager Bud Black.

Bradley grabbed his right knee after going down, and had to be helped off the field. He will have an MRI exam on Monday.

"I think there was a heated conversation between Winters and Milton," Black said. "I'm not quite sure what it was. I was trying to pull Milton away from the argument. That's what I was trying to do. I wasn't trying to tackle him."

Bradley claimed Winters used swear words to call him a name to which he took exception.

"(Winters) needs to be reprimanded," Bradley said. "I'm going to take some action. I'm not going to stand back and accept this, because I didn't do nothing wrong. I'll figure it out.

"This is the most unprofessional and most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. He's going to kick me out of the game, for what, because he called me a 'piece of (expletive)?' He'll lie and say, 'I didn't say it.' That's all they ever do."

Crew chief Bruce Froemming would not make Winters available to the media but did comment on the altercation.

"Winters told (Bradley) to knock it off and he continued it," Froemming said. "There is no covering up what he did. He had to be physically restrained. We're not going to put up with it."

Black later was ejected by third base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt for arguing a check-swing call.

Kevin Kouzmanoff had three doubles for the Padres, who never held a lead in the series.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    COLORADO 0 0 1 4 0 0 1 0 1 7 12 0
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: COL - JEFF FRANCIS, LATROY HAWKINS (9TH) AND YORVIT TORREALBA
    SDG - GREG MADDUX, KEVIN CAMERON (4TH), WILFREDO
    LEDEZMA (6TH), JUSTIN HAMPSON (9TH) AND JOSH BARD

    H

    Sep 23 6:55 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOSH BARD (5) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF LATROY HAWKINS.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 7, SAN DIEGO 3
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: M GILES (.230, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Rockies vs. PadresSep 23 6:53 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRAD HAWPE (28) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF JUSTIN HAMPSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 7, SAN DIEGO 2
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: R SPILBORGHS (.298, 2-FOR-4, RBI)

    Rockies vs. PadresSep 23 6:43 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY KEVIN KOUZMANOFF SCORED TERRMEL SLEDGE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K KOUZMANOFF ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 6
    SAN DIEGO 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: A GONZALEZ (.275, 0-FOR-3)

    Rockies vs. PadresSep 23 6:35 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO INSIDE-THE-PARK HOME RUN BY GARRETT ATKINS (24) TO
    DEEP CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN THE 7TH OFF WILFREDO LEDEZMA.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 6, SAN DIEGO 1
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: B HAWPE (.287, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Rockies vs. PadresSep 23 5:57 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TODD HELTON SCORED CORY SULLIVAN.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, T HELTON ON FIRST, K MATSUI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 5
    SAN DIEGO 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.292, 0-FOR-2)

    Rockies vs. PadresSep 23 5:15 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY TROY TULOWITZKI SCORED YORVIT TORREALBA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, K MATSUI ON FIRST, C SULLIVAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 4
    SAN DIEGO 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: T HELTON (.317, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Rockies vs. PadresSep 23 5:13 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YORVIT TORREALBA SCORED RYAN SPILBORGHS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, Y TORREALBA ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 3
    SAN DIEGO 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: C SULLIVAN (.305, 0-FOR-1)

    Rockies vs. PadresSep 23 5:04 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY RYAN SPILBORGHS SCORED BRAD HAWPE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R SPILBORGHS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 2
    SAN DIEGO 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: Y TORREALBA (.257, 0-FOR-1)

    Rockies vs. PadresSep 23 5:03 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MILTON BRADLEY (11) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF JEFF FRANCIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 1, SAN DIEGO 1
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: K KOUZMANOFF (.272, 1-FOR-1)

    Rockies vs. PadresSep 23 4:53 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY TODD HELTON SCORED KAZ MATSUI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T HELTON ON SECOND, T TULOWITZKI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 1
    SAN DIEGO 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.293, 0-FOR-1)

    Rockies vs. PadresSep 23 4:47 PM