Rockies 10, Dodgers 0

For a pitcher known for his stoic reputation, Jeff Francis

showed rare emotion on the mound Monday night.

After striking out Shane Victorino to escape a jam in the fifth

inning, Francis slightly pumped his fist. Just the excitement of

the moment getting to him.

”Kind of the turning point in the game,” Francis said.

Sure was.

Francis and three relievers combined on a four-hitter as the

Colorado Rockies beat Los Angeles 10-0 to spoil the Dodgers debut

of Josh Beckett.

With pinpoint control of his fastball, Francis (5-4) scattered

three hits in five innings and struck out a season-high six.

Relievers Josh Roenicke, Rex Brothers and Matt Belisle closed out

the game with Belisle pitching 1 2-3 innings to earn his second

save of the season.

Asked if this was one of his most memorable wins, Francis just

grinned.

”It’s funny, you know, because it’s only five innings. In the

world of starting pitchers, it’s really nothing to get excited

about,” Francis said. ”Within our role on this team, it’s our

job. That’s what we go out there to do. So, it is very

satisfying.

”It’s weird to stand here and think I did a really good job – I

threw five innings.”

Yeah, but he stymied a powerful Dodgers lineup.

No more so than in the fifth, when he gave up a one-out single

to Luis Cruz and a double to A.J. Ellis. Francis worked his way out

of the jam by striking out Beckett and then Victorino – on a 68-mph

curveball.

”I was able to make a few pitches here and there,” Francis

said nonchalantly.

Beckett (0-1) was decent in first outing with Los Angeles, but

he needed to be dazzling.

The right-hander was acquired in a nine-player megadeal deal

with the Boston Red Sox over the weekend. His career in Los Angeles

got off to an inauspicious start as he gave up a leadoff homer to

Tyler Colvin on his second pitch, a 91 mph fastball that Colvin hit

into the second deck.

He allowed three runs over 5 2-3 innings as the Dodgers fell 2

1/2 games behind idle San Francisco in the NL West.

”I’ve only been here a couple of days,” Beckett said. ”I’m

still feeling things out. As I move forward, I’ll get more

comfortable.”

Colvin had a big day, adding a two-run triple as part of a

seven-run eighth inning that broke open a tight game. Wilin Rosario

added a two-run homer in the inning.

With Francis and Beckett on the mound, this was a rematch of

Game 1 of the 2007 World Series. In that game, Beckett went seven

innings and allowed one run en route to a 13-1 win. It set the tone

for the series as Boston swept the Rockies.

Since that time, Francis underwent shoulder surgery that

sidelined him for all of 2009, spent last season with Kansas City

and started this season in the minors for Cincinnati, before

returning to Colorado, which drafted him with the ninth overall

pick in 2002.

In his tenure with the Rockies, Francis has been quite

productive on the mound. He’s among the franchise’s all-time

leaders in wins (60), starts (166), innings (965) and strikeouts

(654).

”He had probably the best fastball he’s had since he’s been

here,” manager Jim Tracy said. ”The ball was coming out as well

or better than any other start that he’s had up to this point. He

was in the strike zone with all pitches.”

The Dodgers are hoping a change of scenery for Beckett results

in a change of fortune. He struggled this season in Boston, going

5-11 with a 5.23 ERA.

Beckett was a key part of the Red Sox on their way to the 2007

World Series crown, but he also was the ringleader last year when

the team struggled in September and missed a playoff spot on the

final day of the season. Reports of players drinking beer and

eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games surfaced

afterward, and Beckett’s bombastic demeanor aggravated fans.

But that’s all in the past for Dodgers manager Don Mattingly,

who said before the game that Beckett gets ”a little bit of a

do-over, for a guy that’s coming from a place that there is a

negative vibe all around him.”

After the game, Mattingly said he liked what he saw.

”(Beckett) did what we ask our guys to do,” Mattingly said.

”We just couldn’t do anything for him.”

Notes: SS Troy Tulowitzki (groin) and 1B Jason Giambi (viral

syndrome) were scheduled to play Monday night with Double-A Tulsa

before returning to Denver for more evaluation. … The Dodgers

will send LHP Chris Capuano (11-9) to the mound Tuesday against RHP

Tyler Chatwood (3-3). … 2B DJ LeMahieu drove in two runs and

pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge singled in another for the Rockies, who

returned to Coors Field after a 5-2 road swing. … Colorado has

five shutouts this season.