Francis’ rough 1st inning too much for Rockies to overcome

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DENVER — The first inning has brought Jeff Francis plenty of trouble this season but nothing like he experienced Wednesday. This went beyond a mere pitfall and getting nicked for a run or two.

Francis gave up five runs in the first, a season high for that inning. Against Tim Lincecum and the Giants, there was no escape from that early hole. They beat the Rockies, 8-3, to win the rubber game of their three-game series and send the Rockies to their seventh loss in the past eight games.

Francis has allowed first-inning runs in 12 of his 20 starts. His previous first-inning high was four runs against the Cardinals on July 31.

Francis lasted a season-low three innings and threw 78 pitches, including 37 in the first when the Giants struck for five runs on six hits. Three of the runs scored with two outs. Francis has allowed 26 runs in the first, by far his worst inning, and no more than nine in any other inning.

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