Twins
Rockies
2 - 6 Final
  for this game

Francis ends personal slide as Rockies top Twins

May 19, 2008 - 12:37 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Jeff Francis lost the battle against his good friend Justin Morneau, but picked up his long-awaited first win in the end.

Francis threw 6 1/3 strong innings and Todd Helton homered and drove in three runs to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

A British Columbia native, Francis (1-4) allowed two runs and six hits with seven strikeouts. Francis walked two to pick up his first win since Game One of the 2007 National League Championship Series.

"To pitch well and for the team to get a win is the most important thing," said Francis, who posted a career-best 17 wins last season. "Hopefully we can roll with it. When you're not getting it done, you are trying to find a reason for it. But we got it done today and that's what matters now."

Helton belted a solo homer in the sixth which tied the game at 2-2. Jeff Baker snapped the tie with a run-scoring single in the frame and Helton added a two-run single in the seventh.

A teammate of Francis' in the British Columbia Premier Baseball League, Morneau blasted a two-run homer off the lefthander in the sixth and nearly denied Francis his first win of the season.

"The nice thing to know was that home run gave us the lead and that was definitely important," Morneau said.

"I guess having bragging rights doesn't mean much looking at the final score. Coming in, I said the personal stuff didn't matter. That was a game we definitely needed to win."

Morneau said it was definitely a strange experience to face his former teammate for the first time.

"The first at-bat stepping in was kind of weird looking at him standing out there," Morneau said.

Francis got the advantage thanks to Helton, who answered Morneau's blast in the bottom half of the frame by belting a two-out solo shot to right field - his fourth of the season - off Twins rookie starter Kevin Slowey (0-4).

Garrett Atkins followed with a double and Brad Hawpe walked before Baker made it 3-2 with a run-scoring single to center.

"Jeff pitched a nice game and we were able to score some runs," Helton said. "It was nice to get a lead and then we added on, which is something nice to do. ... We have to do that many more times before we can start to have a good season."

"The team gets ahead and then I go out and give up a couple runs - yeah, it's disappointing," Slowey said.

Colorado extended the lead in the seventh. Omar Quintanilla drew a walk and advanced to second when Willy Taveras laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached on an error by second baseman Brendan Harris.

Clint Barmes advanced the runners with a sacrifice, and the Twins opted to walk Matt Holliday.

Helton made them by pay with a two-run single to right that made it 5-2. Hawpe walked to load the bases, and pitcher Taylor Buchholz walked to force in a run.

"We continue to find a way to put up some runs late," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "I thought Jeff pitched extremely well today compared to his other outings - just his command, getting in front of guys and pitching on the pitcher's side of the plate."

Colorado took a 1-0 lead in the third as Barmes belted a solo homer to left off Slowey.

Slowey allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.








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

    BATTERIES: MIN - KEVIN SLOWEY, MATT GUERRIER (6TH), JUAN RINCON (7TH), DENNYS
    REYES (7TH), JESSE CRAIN (7TH), BOBBY KORECKY (7TH) AND MIKE
    REDMOND
    COL - JEFF FRANCIS, TAYLOR

    May 18 6:04 PM


  • ML
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO TAYLOR BUCHHOLZ SCORED MATT HOLLIDAY.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, T BUCHHOLZ ON FIRST, B HAWPE ON SECOND, T
    HELTON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2
    COLORADO 6 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: C IANNETTA (.294, 0-FOR-3)

    Twins 2, Rockies 6  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 18 5:36 PM


  • ML
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TODD HELTON SCORED OMAR QUINTANILLA AND WILLY
    TAVERAS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T HELTON ON FIRST, M HOLLIDAY ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2
    COLORADO 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.341, 2-FOR-3)

    Twins 2, Rockies 5  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 18 5:26 PM


  • ML
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEFF BAKER SCORED GARRETT ATKINS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J BAKER ON FIRST, B HAWPE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2
    COLORADO 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: C IANNETTA (.299, 0-FOR-2)

    Twins 2, Rockies 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsMay 18 4:52 PM


  • ML
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY TODD HELTON (4) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF KEVIN SLOWEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2, COLORADO 2
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.337, 1-FOR-2)

    Twins 2, Rockies 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsMay 18 4:42 PM


  • ML
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JUSTIN MORNEAU (8) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF JEFF FRANCIS SCORED DELMON YOUNG.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2, COLORADO 1
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M CUDDYER (.245, 1-FOR-2)

    Twins 2, Rockies 1  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 18 4:34 PM


  • ML
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CLINT BARMES (3) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    3RD OFF KEVIN SLOWEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 0, COLORADO 1
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: M HOLLIDAY (.315, 0-FOR-0, HBP)

    Twins 0, Rockies 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 18 3:58 PM