While rookie Jeff Francis has been great at home, he has struggled a bit on the road.
Francis struck out a career high-tying eight over six shutout innings in a 9-2 win over Philadelphia on Sunday. He improved to 8-2 with a 3.59 ERA at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
“He’s doing more than just holding his own,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said of Francis, who leads NL rookies with 10 wins. “He’s taking steps forward, making it toward the top of the rotation, no doubt.”
Francis, who allowed four hits, helped the last-place Rockies halt a four-game losing streak.
However, the 24-year-old left-hander has had his problems on the road, going 2-5 with a 6.94 ERA in 11 starts for the Rockies, who are 13-41 away from Coors.
Perhaps the fact that he will be facing Arizona will inspire Francis. He is 3-0 with a 3.14 ERA in five career starts against the Diamondbacks, including a 2-0 mark with a 2.55 ERA in two outings this season—both at Coors Field.
If Francis pitches a good game Saturday, the Rockies may have a chance to win just their third road series of the season.
“Take a nap, make a mistake and we have a chance to take advantage of you,” Hurdle said. “We can come back and beat a ballclub. The road’s been the challenge.”
Royce Clayton drove in two runs for Arizona, which lost for the 23rd time in its last 35 games at home.