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News » Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-06-14

Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-06-14

Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-06-14
Another game, another disappointment for Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis on Friday.

A year ago, Francis equaled a franchise record with 17 wins.

This year, he might be challenged to get to seven wins.

Francis is only 2-6 in 14 starts this season. Three times -- twice in no decisions and once when Francis was charged with the loss -- the bullpen has failed to protect leads he turned over. And in his four other no decisions, the offense couldn't reward him for efforts in which he allowed three or fewer runs.

Not that Francis is looking for scapegoats in his season gone bad.

On Friday night, he had a lead, thanks to the Rockies flexing their power, and his ability to limit the White Sox to nothing more than bases-empty home runs by Orlando Cabrera, in the fourth, and Brian Anderson, in the fifth.

His control, however, began to wander in the late innings, and the bullpen could note hold a lead he turned over to them, the Rockies losing 5-4 to the White Sox in a game Francis departed with a 4-2 lead.

Francis did not walk any of the first 18 batters he faced. He walked three of the final six.

"I was better (in the first five innings) than in the sixth and seven, but I still wasn't the way I know I can be," said Francis.

It was a muggy Midwest night, but Francis had thrown only 96 pitches by the time he left the game.

"It was not a fatigue thing," he said. "I probably felt better than I had in a long time, but... I don't know if I was trying to do too much, but I do know I didn't have the command I needed."

Francis is 2-2 in his last six starts, having allowed more than three runs only once in that stretch.

"He pitched well," manager Clint Hurdle said about the Friday game. "He had better snap on his pitches, more consistency."

Francis, however, did not pitch well enough to keep the Rockies from losing for the 41st time in 67 games.

WHITE SOX 5, ROCKIES 4: Rookie Ian Stewart had the first multi-home run game of his career, and the first for the Rockies this season. Willy Taveras and Brad Hawpe also homered off White Sox righty Gavin Floyd. It didn't matter, though. The Sox rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh Friday, leaving the White Sox as the only team the Rockies have never beaten in the regular season. The White Sox swept a three-game series at Coors Field in 2005, the only other time the two teams played.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: June 14, 2008

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