San Francisco (62-75) at Colorado (70-66)

Sunny Currently: Denver, CO, US
Temp: 62° F
  • Game info: 3:05 pm EDT Mon Sep 3, 2007
  • TV: FSBA, FSRM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Colorado left-hander Jeff Francis pitched one of the best games of his career against the San Francisco Giants last week.

The Rockies (70-66) hope for a repeat Monday when they open a three-game series against the Giants (62-57) at Coors Field, still trying to bolster their postseason hopes.

Francis (14-6, 4.10 ERA) has won nine of his last 10 decisions, and he’ll look to become the Rockies’ first 15-game winner since Shawn Estes in 2004.

He’s coming off one of the best outings of his career when he pitched a six-hitter for his second career complete game on Wednesday at San Francisco in an 8-0 win.

“Today, I think the thing that struck me most impressively was the fact that he maintained his velocity from start to finish and actually threw some of his best fastballs in the eighth and ninth innings,” manager Clint Hurdle told the Rockies’ official Web site.

Francis is 5-5 with a 4.93 ERA in 13 career starts against the Giants. He is 2-2 against them this season, but is 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in his last two starts against them.

The staff ace is also 5-0 with a 2.40 ERA in six day starts.

Francis, who won 13 games in 2006 and 14 in 2005, looks to help the Rockies win a fourth straight home game after they won two of three at Arizona over the weekend. The Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres are five games ahead of Colorado in the NL West standings.

Colorado closed out the series against Arizona with a 4-3 win on Sunday. The Rockies scored three runs in the first inning and Matt Holliday homered in the third for all the runs they needed.

“We’ll take it and move forward,” Hurdle said of the team’s split of a six-game road trip.

Colorado is 8-7 against the Giants this season, including 3-3 at home.

San Francisco, which is in last place in the West, lost two of three against the Washington Nationals over the weekend after scoring just five runs during the series. The Giants fell 2-1 on Sunday when Ryan Zimmerman hit an RBI single off reliever Brian Wilson in the bottom of the ninth.

The Giants lost 4-1 on Saturday after managing just two hits. They had six hits on Sunday.

“We’ve been shut down,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “One run’s not going to cut it.”

Matt Cain (7-13, 3.57) takes the mound for the Giants on Monday trying to win his fourth straight start. He’s allowed just one run in each of his last two outings, including Tuesday’s against the Rockies. Cain gave up four hits and struck out eight in that 3-1 win.

“He had a good fastball tonight and his stuff was up from his previous outings when he’s thrown really well,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “You look at his last few starts and they have been good ones.”

Cain finished August having gone 4-1 with a 2.18 ERA in six starts. The 22-year-old right-hander is 5-2 with a 2.40 ERA in 10 starts against the Rockies, including 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in four starts against them this season.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Cain SF vs. J. Francis TOR
7-16 Record 17-9
3.65 ERA 4.22
163 K 165
79 BB 63
1.26 WHIP 1.38

Scoreboard

Monday, Sep 3