St. Louis, MO – Tyler Colvin crushed a three-run homer in the third inning to lift the Colorado Rockies to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the second installment of a four-game set at Busch Stadium.
Jeff Francis (2-1) earned the victory after giving up two runs on five hits and one walk over five frames. Rafael Betancourt stranded the tying run on third in the ninth to nail down his 13th save of the season.
The Rockies snapped a three-game losing streak despite registering just five hits as a team.
Joe Kelly (1-1) was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and four walks over six innings to absorb the loss. Matt Holliday, who spent his first five seasons in Colorado, provided the offense with a two-run homer, but the Cardinals lost for the fourth time in their last six games.
Jon Jay stroked a one-out single in the first to set the table for Holliday, who ripped a fastball over the wall in left.
"I made a pitch to Matt that he hit over the fence," admitted Francis, who was teammates with Holliday from 2004-08 in Colorado. "I was running out of pitches to throw him by the end of the game."
Colorado got its first base runner of the game in the third as Jonathan Herrera worked a one-out walk before Francis reached first when Yadier Molina was unable to get Herrera at second on Francis' sacrifice bunt attempt.
Colvin then made the Cardinals pay, launching a three-run blast into the St. Louis bullpen in right field to put the visitors in front.
"I just threw it bad," said Kelly of his 0-2 pitch to Colvin. "It's something you gotta either bounce in the dirt or get it more off and I didn't do both of those and it ended up as a three-run homer."
Francis worked around a bases loaded jam in the third and gave up just one hit over the next two frames before being lifted to start the home sixth.
Colorado's bullpen took over from there, not allowing a Cardinals base runner to reach past second base until Betancourt ran into trouble in the ninth.
David Freese singled to start the frame and was replaced by pinch-runner Shane Robinson, who moved to second on a fielder's choice groundout. Daniel Descalso then walked before Robinson moved to third on another fielder's choice.
Betancourt settled in though, fanning Jay on three pitches to leave the tying run stranded 90 feet away.
Francis is now one win away from matching Jason Jennings for second on Colorado's all-time wins list with 58...Carlos Gonzalez extended his hit streak to 11 games with a single in the third...The Rockies acquired Gonzalez and reliever Huston Street in the 2009 trade that sent Holliday to Oakland...Carlos Beltran was held without an RBI, snapping a streak of nine straight games with an RBI.