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L.A. Dodgers (57-47)000100100282
Colorado (52-51) «23000010x690

Francis extends summer streak, Holliday helps out as Rockies win

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

DENVER -- Matt Holliday wasn't impressed.

Not with his two-run homer in the first and especially not with his running catch in the gap to take away a sure double in the fifth.

"I sort of expect a lot of myself," Holliday said after the Rockies' 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night. "I don't really impress myself."

Holliday might be known for his bat, but he's proving he can play some defense, too. Manager Clint Hurdle raved about Holliday's ability to get a good jump and sprint a long way to catch Mike Lieberthal's deep fly.

"Fine running catch," Hurdle said. "It was a good-looking play."

Yet the night belonged to Jeff Francis, who scattered seven hits over 7 2/3 innings. Francis (11-5) has now won six straight decisions, and hasn't lost since June 8 at Baltimore.

The lanky lefty improved to 39-8 when the Rockies give him at least three runs of support.

Francis gave up two runs, struck out five and allowed no walks. He was taken out in the eighth when Jorge Julio came in to face Jeff Kent with a runner on second. Julio got Kent to ground out.

As Francis walked off the field, the crowd of 46,039 gave him a rousing ovation.

"It's really flattering," Francis said.

It was a different Francis on the mound Saturday night. He'd given up five or more runs in four of his six previous starts.

But Hurdle thought he looked like the Francis of old against the Dodgers.

"His command was so much sharper than we've seen in this little stretch," Hurdle said.

Manager Grady Little would agree with that.

"He was tough," said Little, whose team leads the Arizona Diamondbacks by percentage points in the NL West. "That was the best I've seen him pitch in a couple of years."

Matt Kemp simply said of Francis, "He got us."

The defining moment was Francis' ability to work out of a jam in the seventh when Kent led off with a single and Nomar Garciaparra followed with a double. Francis struck out Kemp before giving up an RBI single to Andre Ethier.

However, Francis got Lieberthal and pinch hitter Russell Martin to each pop out to end the inning.

"It's best for me to stay within myself," Francis said of getting out of the situation. "I try not to throw the nastiest pitch. I don't have those pitches."

Garrett Atkins was a double away from his first cycle since his days at UCLA. Asked if he would've wanted another at-bat for a shot at a double, he just smiled.

"Not really," said Atkins, who hit a solo homer in the seventh, his 15th of the season. "I'd rather have us win in 8½ innings and go home."

Troy Tulowitzki added a two-run homer in the second off Brett Tomko. It was his 12th of the season.

"He left it in the middle of the plate a little bit," Tulowitzki said.

Tomko (2-8) allowed five runs -- all through the first two innings -- before settling down. He lasted six innings and gave up seven hits.

"I had a hard time getting a rhythm," he said. "For some reason, it all started clicking in the third. All of a sudden it felt normal."

By then, though, it was too late, especially the way Francis was pitching.

"I was throwing a lot more strikes," Francis said of his performance.

Kent extended his streak of reaching base safely to 37 straight games with a two-out RBI single in the fourth. Kent, who finished 2-for-4, has been on base with a walk, hit or hit by pitch in every game he's played since June 8. The streak is the longest in the majors this season.

Atkins was impressed with Francis.

"He was great -- again," Atkins said. "You need guys in the rotation to be successful and he stepped up for us."

Notes

  • RHP Derek Lowe (left hip irritation) and RHP Brad Penny (abdominal cramp) will throw bullpen sessions Sunday.
  • The makeup date for Friday night's rainout has yet to be determined. It will be made up when the Dodgers return to Coors Field on Sept. 18-20.
  • Holliday has now homered in three of his last five games.
  • RHP Rodrigo Lopez said the tightness in his forearm is feeling better.
  • With a run-scoring single in the second, OF Ryan Spilborghs now has six RBI in his last four 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 underhands this toss to first base, but he doesn't serve up much for L.A. to work with.  (AP)
Jeff Francis underhands this toss to first base, but he doesn't serve up much for L.A. to work with. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

G. Atkins
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Los Angeles

J. Kent
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS4120000 .284
Juan Pierre, CF3000000 .282
Olmedo Saenz, 1B4000012 .192
Jeff Kent, 2B4121001 .297
Nomar Garciaparra, 3B4020001 .285
Matt Kemp, RF3000022 .341
   a- James Loney, PH1000001 .348
Andre Ethier, LF4021001 .300
Mike Lieberthal, C4000004 .259
Brett Tomko, P2000021 .000
   b- Russell Martin, PH1000002 .296
    Rudy Seanez, P0000000 .000
    Roberto Hernandez, P0000000 .000
Totals3428205  
a-lined out for Kemp in the 9th
b-popped out for Tomko in the 7th
Batting
2B - Nomar Garciaparra 2 (15, Francis, Corpas)
SH - Juan Pierre (14)
RBI - Jeff Kent (56), Andre Ethier (44)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Kent (17)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Garciaparra
E - Nomar Garciaparra 2 (9, Throwing)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Brett Tomko (L,2-8) 6755442 5.57
Rudy Seanez 1111031 4.31
Roberto Hernandez 1100000 6.10
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Tomko 99-55, Rudy Seanez 23-17, Roberto Hernandez 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Tomko 5-9, Roberto Hernandez 2-1
Batters Faced - Brett Tomko 29, Rudy Seanez 4, Roberto Hernandez 4
Colorado Rockies
Ryan Spilborghs, CF4111102 .320
    Manuel Corpas, P0000000 .000
Kaz Matsui, 2B4000002 .274
Matt Holliday, LF4112012 .329
Todd Helton, 1B4000020 .300
Garrett Atkins, 3B4131000 .266
Brad Hawpe, RF2100221 .298
Troy Tulowitzki, SS3112102 .279
Yorvit Torrealba, C4120024 .275
Jeff Francis, P2010000 .167
    Jorge Julio, P0000000 .000
   a- Jeff Baker, PH1000000 .222
    Cory Sullivan, CF0000000 .342
Totals3269647  
a-lined out for Julio in the 8th
Batting
3B - Garrett Atkins (1, Tomko)
HR - Matt Holliday (19, Tomko), Garrett Atkins (15, Seanez), Troy Tulowitzki (12, Tomko)
SH - Jeff Francis (10)
RBI - Ryan Spilborghs (36), Matt Holliday 2 (81), Garrett Atkins (61), Troy Tulowitzki 2 (46)
2-OUT RBI - Garrett Atkins (19)
Team LOB - 7
Colorado Rockies
Jeff Francis (W,11-5) 7.2722050 4.12
Jorge Julio 0.1000000 5.75
Manuel Corpas 1100000 2.34
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Francis 107-76, Jorge Julio 3-2, Manuel Corpas 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Francis 10-8, Jorge Julio 1-0, Manuel Corpas 1-2
Batters Faced - Jeff Francis 30, Jorge Julio 1, Manuel Corpas 4
Game Information
Attendance - 46039
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Kerwin Danley