Rockies 5, Astros 0

HOUSTON (AP) -- Jeff Francis allowed three hits in seven innings and the Colorado Rockies beat their former ace Jason Jennings and the Houston Astros 5-0 Saturday night to snap an eight-game losing streak.

Garrett Atkins drove in two runs, Matt Holliday had an RBI double and the Rockies won for just the fourth time in 13 games.

Francis (8-5) struck out four and limited the Astros to Mark Loretta's double and Craig Biggio's two singles. Biggio has 3,004 career hits, three shy of Al Kaline for 25th on the career list.

Biggio was still getting standing ovations every time he stepped to the plate, two days after becoming the 27th player to reach 3,000 hits. He tipped his helmet to the fans before his first at-bat, but that was one of the only reasons for the sellout crowd at Minute Maid Park to cheer.

The Astros won the last two nights with game-ending homers off Colorado's Brian Fuentes, who was demoted from the closer role before the game. This time, LaTroy Hawkins pitched the eighth and Jeremy Affeldt finished off the four-hitter with a perfect ninth as the Astros lost for the seventh time in 10 games.

Francis earned his third victory in four starts, winning a duel of Rockies' top draft picks.

Jennings (1-3), drafted by Colorado in 1999, is the Rockies' career leader in wins (58), innings (941) and starts (156). He was traded to Houston in December. Francis was drafted in 2002.

Facing his former team for the first time, Jennings breezed through the first three innings, allowing only a walk to Troy Tulowitzki with four strikeouts.

Kaz Matsui then led off the fourth with a single, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Holliday's double down the left-field line. Holliday's NL-leading 114th hit produced his 62nd RBI.

Holliday later scored on Atkins' sacrifice fly to center to put Colorado up 2-0.

Ryan Spilborghs put the Rockies up 3-0 in the fifth when he beat out an infield single to score Tulowitzki, who led off with a base hit.

Francis walked Jennings, a .111 hitter, with one out in the Houston fifth. Biggio followed with a single to left, but Hunter Pence popped out and Lance Berkman struck out swinging.

Jennings retired the Rockies in order in the seventh and was done after 107 pitches, his second-highest total of the season. He gave up five hits, struck out six and walked two.

The Rockies scored two runs in the eighth off Matt Albers, who was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on June 28. Atkins had an RBI single and Brad Hawpe had a run-scoring double.

Notes

Despite the victory, the Rockies reached the midpoint of the season with a sub-.500 record for the 10th time in 15 years. ... Berkman failed to homer for just the third time in eight games. ... The Astros, hitting .302 in their previous 16 games, were shut out for the first time since a 4-0 loss to San Francisco on May 21. ... The Rockies didn't allow a homer for the first time in 10 games. ... The Rockies earned their second shutout of the season. Francis also started the first one, a 2-0 win at Arizona on May 23.


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