Rockies 5, White Sox 5

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Colorado starter Jeff Francis walked out of the clubhouse after the final Cactus League game of the season, feeling good about his spring training for a change.

"It was better. I have had bad springs for pretty much my whole professional career. It was nice to get outs and get out of jams and be able to figure it out," Francis said following a 5-5 tie with the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

"I would not say (the spring) was good or great, but it was better than what I have been used to."

Francis saved his best spring outing for last as he used changeups and fastballs to hold a split squad White Sox unit off balance and without a hit for 4 2-3 innings.

The Rockies No. 2 starter did not give up a hit until Kenny Perez's soft infield single in the fifth.

"He pitched well again and had fastball command on both sides of the plate. His curve ball and changeup were sharp," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "Any time he felt he slipped away from something he got right back on track."

Francis wound up going five scoreless, allowing two hits, while walking one and striking out six.

It was the second straight stellar outing by the Rockies' starter scheduled to pitch Colorado's April 3 regular-season game against Arizona. In Jennings' last two starts he has allowed one run and nine hits in 11 innings to finish the spring with a 2-0 record and a 4.23 ERA.

Chicago starter Jon Garland struggled in the first inning, giving up four runs, with three coming on a towering home run to Matt Holliday. It was Holliday's fourth homer of the spring.

Garland settled down afterward, giving up one run and four hits in the next six innings. He left after the seventh, ending his longest Cactus League stint having given up nine hits, walking none and striking out three.

"I've been trying to work on throwing more changeups to righties during spring training," Garland said about his first inning pitch to Holliday. "It's something I've wanted to try and it is a perfect opportunity to do so. In the regular season I'm not throwing that pitch in that situation to lead him off."

Chicago's Victor Mercedes tied the game in the bottom of the ninth off Rockies closer Byung-Hyun Kim. Mercedes was 2-for-2 with two runs scored.

Colorado's Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki both went 2-for-3.


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