Francis shows improvement in second start

Francis shows improvement in second start

DETROIT -- Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis knew he wasn't as bad as he looked last Saturday in his return to the club. He proved it Friday night.

Francis, who was with the Rockies from 2004-10 before joining the Royals last year and spending the early part of this year with the Reds' Triple-A affiliate, gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings of Friday night's 12-4 victory over the Tigers to end the team's eight-game losing streak.

When Francis exited, the score was tied at 4. Although he didn't dominate the game, the Rockies' offense proved that the starter keeping them close is often good enough. In Francis' previous outing, the offense had no chance to overcome the 10 hits and eight runs he gave up to the Angels in 3 1/3 innings.

"I made some better pitches in some situations, got myself out of some jams," Francis said. "I wanted to limit the damage against us to as little as I could early in the game.

"I've got more in me. It was a step in the right direction, but I think I can get ahead of hitters better."

Friday was the second time since the eight-game losing streak began that the starting pitcher wasn't in position to lose after leaving the game. Lefty Josh Outman was actually in line for a win Thursday night, but the Rockies blew a lead in the bottom of the ninth and lost to the Athletics, 10-8.