PHOENIX – Jeff Francis faced the minimum 18 batters through six scoreless innings, and Garrett Atkins drove in three runs to send the Colorado Rockies to a 7-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Todd Helton and Cory Sullivan each had an RBI double. Matt Holliday drove in a run with a single, and Clint Barmes added a sacrifice fly for Colorado.

Francis (13-12), who was 1-5 in his previous seven starts, gave up three hits and walked none to move out of a tie with Toronto’s Gustavo Chacin for most wins by a rookie. The 24-year-old left-hander leads Colorado’s staff in victories.

Chad Tracy hit a solo homer for the Diamondbacks, who left the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth.

Scott Dohmann worked a nerve-racking seventh, allowing a one-out homer to Tracy and walking three to load the bases with two outs before Andy Green flied out.

Mike DeJean had nearly as much trouble in the eighth – giving up Alex Cintron’s single, walking Craig Counsell and hitting Tracy with a pitch before ending the inning by striking out Tony Clark and Troy Glaus.

Ryan Speier got the last three outs.

Francis and Dohmann made Colorado’s two-run first inning stand up until the eighth, when Arizona reliever Oscar Villarreal loaded the bases on two walks, including an intentional pass to pinch-hitter Helton, and a bunt single by Omar Quintanilla.

Barmes’ sacrifice fly made it 3-1. Sullivan followed with his run-scoring double and scored behind Helton on Atkins’ two-run double into the left-field corner.

Russ Ortiz (5-11) pitched five innings, allowing two runs, six hits and four walks. He is 1-9 in his last 12 starts.

Francis was on from the get-go, working two perfect innings before Green bunted his way on in the third. But catcher Danny Ardoin picked Green off first.

Tracy singled in the fourth and Green had his second hit in the sixth, but each was erased on a double play.

Sullivan had the first of three singles off Ortiz in the first. Atkins and Holliday followed with run-scoring singles.

Ortiz kept the deficit to 2-0 through five innings despite loading the bases twice.

The right-hander hit Ardoin with a pitch and walked one in the fourth before Barmes hit into an inning-ending double play. In the fifth, Sullivan singled and Ortiz walked two to load the bases with two outs. Then Quintanilla hit a pop fly to center.

Notes: Umpire Gary Darling was scratched just before the game because of a hamstring pull. Peter Durfee replaced him as the third base ump. … Sullivan raced to the 413-foot sign in right-center to pull in a drive by Glaus with his back to the wall, then ran into left-center to catch a liner by Conor Jackson for the first two outs of the second. … RF Tracy saved a run in the fifth when he dived for a liner by Brad Hawpe.

AP-ES-09-18-05 2011EDT


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