Francis pitches six strong innings

DENVER (AP) -- Jeff Francis had a simple analysis. It all came
down to his breaking ball.

"I was able to throw them for strikes more consistently," he
said. "Then, it was something they had in their minds."

Francis pitched six strong innings, and the Colorado Rockies
beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-1 Thursday in the first game of a

"He was more consistent and throwing more strikes," Colorado
manager Clint Hurdle said. "No walks with eight punch outs and he
kept the ball out of the middle of the plate."

Francis (3-2), Colorado's first-round pick in the 2002 amateur
draft, gave up one run and seven hits. He matched a career high by
striking out eight.

Francis was one of five rookies in the Rockies' starting lineup.
They sent the Diamondbacks to their 105th loss, and eighth defeat
in nine road games.

Andy Tracy and Jeromy Burnitz hit RBI singles in the first
inning, and Francis made the early lead stand up.

"The lead is always good, then you can just go after guys and
put the pressure on them instead of when there is a runner on base
and constantly worrying about them and worrying about what that
runner is doing," Francis said. "You can go out and be aggressive
with that three-run lead."

Robbie Hammock homered for Arizona.

Brandon Webb (6-16) remained winless in four starts. He allowed
three runs and seven hits in six innings.

"I was off a little bit mechanically," Webb said. "It took
four or five innings to gather myself."

Webb didn't get any help from an offense that has scored three
or fewer runs in eight of its last nine road games, all losses.

"We can't score runs," Arizona manager Al Pedrique said. "For
some reason we can't figure it out and we aren't clicking."

The Rockies took a 3-0 lead in the first on the singles by Tracy
and Burnitz and an RBI grounder from Charles Johnson. Burnitz
finished with three hits.

Colorado broke it open in the eighth. Jorge Piedra hit a two-run
double off Shane Nance, and Luis Gonzalez and Todd Helton had RBI
singles off Scott Service.

Francis blanked Arizona on six singles over the first five
innings, allowing only one runner past second base.

Hammock hit his third homer in the sixth, sending a drive into
the Colorado bullpen in right-center field.

Game notes
It was the second non-split doubleheader played at Coors
Field. ... Hammock landed headfirst into the dirt in left field
going after Burnitz's ground-rule double in the third. ... Johnson
was in the starting lineup for the first time in nine games.