Francis fires gem, Holliday hits two homers in Rockies’ win |

Francis fires gem, Holliday hits two homers in Rockies’ win

ST. LOUIS ” Jeff Francis had another strong start and Matt Holliday hit two homers Monday night to lead the Colorado Rockies to their fourth straight victory, 6-2 over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Francis (2-2) allowed six hits, struck out one and walked three in 7 2-3 innings. He had a scoreless streak of 14 2-3 innings snapped when Hector Luna singled home So Taguchi with two outs in the eighth. Francis was 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in April. He is 2-0 in May with a 0.61 ERA.

Holliday was 3-for-4 and scored three runs. He hit both homers leading off innings against Cardinals starter Jason Marquis (3-4). His shots in the third and seventh innings gave him nine for the season. He also singled and scored in the fifth and was hit by a pitch in the first.

Brad Hawpe singled twice and drove in three runs for the Rockies (20-13), who moved seven games over .500 for the first time since July 7, 2000, when they were 45-38.

Marquis has gone the other direction for St. Louis, which lost for the first time in four games. He has lost his last four decisions, largely due to wildness. His ERA was 2.79 after his first three starts, all wins. It is 8.73 in his four losses.

Marquis allowed four walks in 19 1-3 innings in his first three starts. In the four games since he has walked 13 in 22 2-3 innings.

That wildness was costly again Monday. With two outs and one on in the first he walked Garrett Atkins and hit Holliday. Hawpe followed with a two-run single to right.

Atkins led off the fifth with a double, moved to third on Holliday’s single, and scored on a single by Hawpe.

Jim Edmonds drove in a run in the ninth with a sacrifice fly for St. Louis and Brian Fuentes came on with runners on first and third and got two outs for his eighth save in nine chances.

Francis, a rookie last season, is 2-0 lifetime against St. Louis, allowing one run in 13 2-3 innings, with both wins coming in St. Louis. He pitched six shutout innings in a 7-0 win over the Cardinals on June 30, 2005.

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