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Rockies option Francis to clear room for Bettis

Rockies option Francis to clear room for Bettis

Rockies option Francis to clear room for Bettis play video for Rockies option Francis to clear room for Bettis

ATLANTA -- The Rockies optioned veteran left-hander Jeff Francis to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday for the second time this season.

Francis was sent down to make room in the Major League roster for right-hander Chad Bettis, who started against the Braves in his Major League debut.

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Early in the season, Francis (2-5, 6.63 ERA) struggled for 11 starts before being sent down in June. He was recalled Sunday and on Tuesday made a relief appearance, just the second of his career. He gave up two runs in 2 1/3 innings, but the runners scored when the pitcher behind him, Edgmer Escalona, gave up a three-run homer to the Braves' Freddie Freeman.

Francis has been with the Rockies for eight of his nine Major League seasons, and was a leader of the starting staff in 2007, when the team went to the World Series.

"I'm happy that we got to see Jeff in that role, a new role," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He came in and saved our bullpen, did a nice job, for that being his first time out there at the Major League level. I have a feeling we'll be seeing Jeff in that role again."

Also, because Bettis was not on the 40-man Major League roster, the Rockies made room by designating right-handed pitcher Josh Sullivan for assignment. Sullivan had made four relief appearances at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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