NLDS: Left-hander shuts down Philadelphia as Colorado prevails. By Rob Maaddi THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PHILADELPHIA – Bandbox or not, this was no day for hitters. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityJeff Francis held the league’s highest-scoring team in check, and the Colorado Rockies took advantage of one shaky inning by Cole Hamels to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-2, in Game 1 of their NL playoff series Wednesday. “Who would’ve thought a good old-fashioned National League game would break out in this ballpark?” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. Making just the second postseason appearance in their 15-year history, the Rockies played like October regulars. Colorado posted its second playoff victory, the other coming in 1995, and won for the 15th time in 16 games. Matt Holliday, his chin still cut up from the face-first slide that won Monday’s wild-card tiebreaker over San Diego, hit a solo home run. “Any time you expect a slugfest, you get a pitching duel,” Holliday said. Francis pitched six effective innings and stayed out of big trouble, mostly by shutting down the Phillies’ top hitters. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins combined to go 0-for-11 with eight strikeouts. Utley, a .332 hitter, struck out four times for the second time in his career. “Some of the hitters may have been uptight, but Francis was way better than the other times I’ve seen him,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. Francis’ lone problems came in the fifth when Aaron Rowand and Pat Burrell hit consecutive homers. The left-hander gave up four hits and struck out eight. Once the 17-game winner departed, three relievers pitched three hitless innings, with Manny Corpas closing for a save. With the two highest-scoring teams in the league playing in two of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the majors, this series figured to see plenty of runs. Instead, the clubs combined for six runs and 10 hits in the opener. Many hitters expected the late-afternoon shadows to be a problem, and they certainly struggled. Francis used a mix of off-speed pitches to keep a potent lineup off-balance and improve to 9-0 in day games this season. “I’m always aware of my success or nonsuccess I have against teams,” said Francis, who had a 15.12 ERA against the Phils this season. “Today, my execution was better.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Francis frustrates Phillies