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Francis posts third strong outing as Rockies win

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Francis posts third strong outing as Rockies win play video for Francis posts third strong outing as Rockies win

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies veteran left-handed starter looked like the Jeff Francis of old as he pitched four scoreless innings of one-hit ball in a 6-3 win over the Cubs on Tuesday.

Francis completed his third scoreless outing, giving him a nine Cactus League innings without allowing a run. He struck out four, induced four groundouts and notched four flyouts, including two warning-track outs to left from the first two batters he faced.

"I got away with a couple in the first inning, definitely," Francis said. "The first out was a changeup I left in the zone. I think it just cut a bit off the barrel of the bat, just barely missed it. The second out was a ball just down the middle, and I think he just got under it a tiny bit. As a pitcher you know when you get away with a couple like that. You have a second chance to sort of re-focus yourself and make good pitches."

Cubs starter Scott Feldman was less effective, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out one over two innings and two batters.

In the first game the Cubs have played without a designated hitter, Feldman recorded their only hit through the first four innings, a single to right to end Francis' streak of eight straight outs.

The Rockies tagged Feldman for runs in each of three frames, starting in the first when Todd Helton bounced a double over the wall in the left-field corner after a gritty at-bat, scorching foul balls down the right-field line and into the stands. Helton's first hit of the Cactus League season plated Josh Rutledge, who started the rally with a single to center.

Colorado added on in the second with a one-out double to right from Kent Matthes and a run-scoring single to center from Dexter Folwer.

Wilin Rosario capped Feldman's damage with a two-run homer to center -- his first -- following Troy Tulowitzki's leadoff single in the third, bringing an end to Feldman's outing.

Chicago broke through against Danny Rosenbaum when Edwin Maysonet drove a ball of the wall in the left-center gap, legging it out for an inside-the-park home run as left fielder Tim Wheeler and Fowler scrambled for the ball.

Up next: The Rockies play an exhibition game against Team USA under the Salt River Fields lights at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday. Right-hander Chris Volstad and lefty Drew Pomeranz will both continue their bids for the starting rotation in a game that manager Walt Weiss expects will "get the juices flowing."

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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