DENVER (AP) – Dustan Mohr had a double and a homer in Colorado’s nine-run fifth inning Sunday as the Rockies defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 9-2 and avoided a four-game sweep.

Jeff Francis (10-7) had another of his usual, solid outings at Coors Field, matching his career high with eight strikeouts and shutting out the Phillies on four hits over six innings. He became the first National League rookie to win 10 games this season, and improved to 8-2 this year at home.

Francis was locked up in a scoreless tie with Jon Lieber (9-10) through four innings. Then, the Rockies got going and matched their season highs for both runs (9) and hits (8) in an inning.

The rally began when the Phillies chose to pitch to the No. 8 hitter, J.D. Closser, with runners on second and third and one out. Closser, a .210 hitter this season, had an RBI single to make it 1-0. Francis followed with an RBI single to score Mohr, who had reached earlier on a double.

The Rockies batted around and Mohr homered to left-center on his second at-bat to make it 9-0 and signal the end for Lieber. Lieber allowed nine runs and nine hits – both season highs – in 4 2-3 innings and his ERA rose from 4.69 to 5.12.

Playing in place of the injured Todd Helton, Ryan Shealy also had two hits in the inning. His second scored a run that made it 7-0.

Closser, his future in jeopardy even though the Rockies failed to acquire a catcher before the trade deadline, added a double in the sixth.

The Rockies, with the worst record in the major leagues, avoided being swept in a four-game series at home for just the third time since Coors Field opened in 1995.

They did it behind Francis, who lowered his home ERA to 3.62 and helped the Rockies improve to 27-27 at home, much more respectable than their 10-40 road record, which is the worst after 50 games in the majors since the 1979 Oakland Athletics.

Colorado begins a six-game road trip in San Francisco on Tuesday.

By winning their first three in Denver, the Phillies salvaged a decent road trip, winding up 3-4 after three straight losses in Houston.

But they weren’t really competitive in the finale.

Lieber and Jason Michaels each had singles in the third to give them two on with two outs. But Francis struck out Bobby Abreu to end that threat and the Phillies didn’t come close to scoring again until the eighth, when the David Bell hit a two-run double off Dan Miceli to make it 9-2.

Eight of the first 11 outs Francis recorded were on strikeouts. He left after six innings, once his pitch count reached 111.

Notes: The Phillies, in the market for a left-handed starter to fit into a rotation filled with five right-handers, didn’t make a deal before the deadline. “I don’t think we walked away from anything that we will regret,” general manager Ed Wade said. … Rockies SS Omar Quintanilla had his first major league hit in the fifth. … Colorado’s recently acquired OF Larry Bigbie arrived to Coors Field about an hour before gametime Sunday, but didn’t play.

AP-ES-07-31-05 1743EDT


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