Francis shuts down Yanks as Rox roll

Francis shuts down Yanks

DENVER -- Matt Holliday insisted that venerable Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte wasn't "in our heads -- he's just a good pitcher and makes it hard on you because he pitches you different every at-bat."

But when Holliday swatted a Pettitte changeup 442 feet onto the concourse above the left-field bleachers for a two-run, sixth-inning homer, Pettitte was different. That was good for the Rockies, who beat the Yankees, 6-1, at Coors Field before a sellout crowd of 48,440 on Wednesday night.

The Rockies, 37-34 and 4 1/2 games behind the Padres in the National League West, won their sixth straight series and extended their run of unbeaten series to nine -- both club records.

It was finally some success against Pettitte, who was 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA in three previous starts against the Rockies, including a three-hit shutout for the Astros at Minute Maid Park on June 19, 2006.

This time, Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis (7-5) upstaged Pettitte by striking out a career-high nine and forcing 11 groundouts in seven innings. And Holliday's homer began a six-run barrage against Pettitte (4-5), who gave up nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Before Holliday's club-leading 13th homer of the season, the Rockies had two hits and trailed, 1-0, on Derek Jeter's RBI double in the top of the sixth.

Pettitte, who kicked the dirt in disgust as soon as the ball careened over the infield, said he threw a changeup that cut toward Holliday's bat.

"I picked a bad guy to let it cut to," Pettitte said.

The Rockies have beaten a who's who lately -- the Red Sox's Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett, and the Yankees' Mike Mussina and Pettitte the last two nights, with Roger Clemens set to face Colorado on Thursday. Now, Holliday is gaining notice.

"When he hits it, they go, and it's hitting the ball of some big-time people," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

The Rockies scored four times in the seventh, with Willy Taveras knocking an RBI single and Kazuo Matsui adding a two-run triple off Pettitte, and Holliday adding an RBI single off Luis Vizcaino.

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That was more than enough for Francis, who made his biggest pitch of the night in the sixth after the Yankees scored. New York had two on with two outs when Francis threw an 87-mph fastball on a 1-2 count to fan Jorge Posada.

"I had more fun tonight, I think, than I've ever had pitching," said Francis, 6-1 with a 1.86 ERA in his last nine starts. "I don't know what -- a full crowd, everyone's into it like no game I've ever seen.

"Going against Andy, we battled throughout, and fortunately, we came out on top."

Also, Todd Helton (2-for-4 with a double) became the fifth active player to have 1,000 hits in one ballpark with his second-inning single.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Bryan Hoch contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.