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New York at Colorado

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N.Y. Yankees (35-34)000001000150
Colorado (37-34) «00000240x6100

Francis K's nine, red-hot Rockies win sixth straight series

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

DENVER -- The Bronx Bombers have bombed on this trip to Coors Field.

The New York Yankees lost their second straight to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night, this time 6-1 as left-hander Jeff Francis matched Josh Fogg's seven-inning, one-run dominance from 24 hours earlier.

The Yankees are getting a firsthand look at how much Denver's downtown ballpark and the Rockies' pitching staff have changed from five years ago.

Last time the Yankees came to town in 2002, they scored 41 times in three games.

This time, they've pushed across just two runs and have just one hit in 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

"It's huge. Two games against the Yankees, we've given up two runs. You can't say enough about the pitching," said Matt Holliday, whose two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth erased New York's 1-0 lead.

"Our pitching has kept us in games and our bullpen has been unbelievable. When you're getting that kind of pitching, you'll win a lot of games."

The Rockies sure have. They're a major league-best 19-7 since May 22 and have won a club record six straight series and are 8-0-1 in their last nine, the best stretch in franchise history.

Francis struck out a career-best nine in seven spectacular innings.

"That is a good one for him to put in the vault," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

"I had more fun tonight than I think I ever had pitching," said Francis (7-5), who allowed a run and five hits with one walk. "Pitched well, a crowd like that (48,440), against a team like that in a game like that where we're facing probably a future Hall of Famer."

Andy Pettitte (4-5) allowed just two singles before giving up Holliday's two-out, two-run homer in the sixth that traveled an estimated 442 feet.

"There's nothing like the feeling of hitting the ball on the sweet spot," said Holliday, who muscled the 79 mph mistake over the left-field bleachers and off the concourse near the beer stands. "He gave me a hard time my first two at-bats and I was just looking for something out over the plate."

But it was the Rockies who would end the inning screaming at the umpire.

Todd Helton followed Holliday's shot with a double and appeared to score on Garrett Atkins' single, but home plate umpire Tim Welke called Helton out on Hideki Matsui's throw although television replays showed Helton tapped the plate with his hand before Jorge Posada tagged him.

It turned out not to matter as Pettitte, bothered by Holliday's homer, couldn't get out of the seventh, when he surrendered an RBI single to Willy Taveras and a two-run triple to Kaz Matsui that made it 5-1 and ended his night. Holliday greeted Luis Vizcaino with a run-scoring single.

"After the home run by Holliday, I quit pitching," said Pettitte, who allowed six earned runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. "I quit throwing my changeup. I quit pitching. I stopped working both sides of the plate like I do. When you do that you make yourself real vulnerable and they get a lot of hits off you.

"It was the kind of game you wish you could call a timeout, hang on a second."

Derek Jeter, who has hit in 14 straight games, had broken a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth when he sliced a double down the left-field line, scoring Melky Cabrera, who had doubled to end a string in which Francis had retired 11 straight batters.

The Yankees arrived in Denver having won 14 of 17, but they've been befuddled by Colorado's pitching staff and fell 10 games behind Boston in the AL East.

"That's the mysteries of baseball," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Things that you can't really explain happen. As quickly as we fell into this thing, we can fall out of it."

"We haven't scored. We haven't hit," Jeter said. "We aren't swinging the bats. It's tough to pitch when you don't have any runs. We haven't been able to string some hits together. It's weird because we were swinging the bats pretty good before we got here."

Pettitte allowed just two hits, including a historic single by Helton in the second, through the first five innings. Helton's opposite-field hit made him just the fifth active player to collect 1,000 hits in one ballpark, joining Jeter, who has 1,116 hits at Yankee Stadium, Frank Thomas, Garret Anderson and Sammy Sosa.

"I was pitching well," Pettitte said. "Then, I threw a changeup to Holliday that cut right over the plate."

And things fell apart.

Notes

  • CF Johnny Damon will start Thursday. He's been bothered by a strained abdominal muscle that has the Yankees considering putting him on the DL for the first time in his career.
  • Jeter has a hit in 22 straight interleague games.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jeff Francis gives New York all that it can handle, striking out a career-high nine through seven.  (AP)
Jeff Francis gives New York all that it can handle, striking out a career-high nine through seven. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

M. Holliday
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Colorado

J. Francis
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 9
 
New York Yankees
Melky Cabrera, CF4110000 .247
Derek Jeter, SS4021000 .343
Bobby Abreu, RF4000032 .266
Alex Rodriguez, 3B2000211 .313
Jorge Posada, C4010023 .342
Hideki Matsui, LF4000022 .290
Robinson Cano, 2B3010000 .270
Andy Phillips, 1B3000011 .000
Andy Pettitte, P2000020 .000
    Luis Vizcaino, P0000000 .000
   a- Johnny Damon, PH1000000 .253
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
Totals31151211  
a-grounded out for Vizcaino in the 8th
Batting
2B - Melky Cabrera (7, Francis), Derek Jeter (19, Francis)
RBI - Derek Jeter (34)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Hideki Matsui 1
DP - Jeter-Cano-Phillips
New York Yankees
Andy Pettitte (L,4-5) 6.2966241 3.28
Luis Vizcaino 0.1100000 5.88
Ron Villone 1000000 5.73
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 101-61, Luis Vizcaino 5-3, Ron Villone 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 9-5, Luis Vizcaino 1-0, Ron Villone 1-2
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 29, Luis Vizcaino 2, Ron Villone 3
Colorado Rockies
Willy Taveras, CF4211011 .315
Kaz Matsui, 2B4112001 .316
Matt Holliday, LF4123010 .366
Todd Helton, 1B4020001 .326
Garrett Atkins, 3B4010012 .244
Brad Hawpe, RF4000011 .291
Troy Tulowitzki, SS3120100 .270
Yorvit Torrealba, C3010003 .245
Jeff Francis, P1000100 .130
   a- Ryan Spilborghs, PH1100001 .273
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
    Jeremy Affeldt, P0000000 .000
Totals32610624  
a-hit into fielder's choice for Francis in the 7th
Batting
2B - Todd Helton (17, Pettitte)
3B - Kaz Matsui (4, Pettitte)
HR - Matt Holliday (13, Pettitte)
RBI - Willy Taveras (16), Kaz Matsui 2 (18), Matt Holliday 3 (57)
2-OUT RBI - Willy Taveras (7), Kaz Matsui 2 (12), Matt Holliday 3 (16)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Matsui-Helton
Colorado Rockies
Jeff Francis (W,7-5) 7511190 3.44
LaTroy Hawkins 1000000 4.08
Jeremy Affeldt 1000120 2.89
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Francis 100-59, LaTroy Hawkins 15-9, Jeremy Affeldt 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Francis 10-1, LaTroy Hawkins 3-0, Jeremy Affeldt 1-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Francis 26, LaTroy Hawkins 3, Jeremy Affeldt 4
Game Information
Attendance - 48440
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 93
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Todd Tichenor, Third Base - Lance Barksdale