Atlanta (72-90) at Colorado (74-88)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 52° F
  • Game info: Thu Apr 10, 2008 - Postponed
Preview | Box Score | Recap

A visit from the Atlanta Braves has gotten the Colorado Rockies back on track.

Now, Colorado ace Jeff Francis hopes it will do the same for him.

Francis and the Rockies will seek their first-ever four-game sweep of the Braves on Thursday when they face Atlanta’s Tim Hudson, who has struggled in two career appearances at Coors Field.

Colorado, which dropped its first 16 meetings with the Braves (3-6) after the franchise’s inception in 1993, has never won four games in a row against Atlanta, never mind four in one series.

The Rockies (4-5) are now just one win away from the feat after Wednesday’s 12-6 victory. Ryan Spilborghs and Yorvit Torrealba each homered and drove in a combined nine runs as the defending NL champions’ vaunted offense finally broke out of its slump.

Colorado, which was second in the NL with 860 runs last year, had totaled just 16 runs in eight games before Wednesday’s outburst.

“We’re hitting. Hopefully we can keep it going,” said left fielder Matt Holliday, who went 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs. “If we get all of our guys going, we have a good offense. We’ll put up a lot of runs and make it hard on other teams.”

They’ve been especially tough when Hudson (1-0, 3.46 ERA) has visited Denver. Hudson has beaten the Rockies three times at home, but is 0-2 with a 13.00 ERA at Coors Field, allowing 13 runs, 19 hits and walking seven in nine innings.

The right-hander’s two starts to begin 2008 have been considerably better. Hudson hasn’t walked a batter in 13 innings, while allowing five runs and striking out seven. He beat the New York Mets after allowing three runs in six innings on Saturday.

Francis (0-1, 7.11) has only made one appearance after his opening day start against St. Louis was rained out. He was hit hard in 2 1-3 innings before that game was called, allowing five runs and walking three, though those statistics were erased.

The left-hander didn’t pitch well in his first official start, either, allowing five runs and 12 hits - including three homers - in 6 1-3 innings of Saturday’s 7-2 loss to Arizona.

Francis is 3-2 despite a lofty 6.49 ERA in five career starts versus Atlanta.

This four-game set began with a pair of close games, as Colorado won 4-3 on Tuesday after a 2-1 victory in Monday’s opener. The Braves only managed nine total hits in those two games, but broke out for 13 in Wednesday’s defeat.

“We played maybe our best game of the year, hitting and fielding-wise,” Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said of Wednesday’s game. “We made all kinds of great plays and hit the ball good enough to win.”

The winner of this game may be the team that better braves the elements. Forecasts predict snow in Denver, with temperatures around 30 degrees.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Hudson SF vs. J. Francis Tor
11-7 Record 4-10
3.17 ERA 5.01
85 K 94
40 BB 49
1.16 WHIP 1.48


Thursday, Apr 10