3/10/2013 6:43 P.M. ET
Francis' scoreless streak ends at 13 innings
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw and star outfielder Matt Kemp shook off their early-spring blues on Sunday afternoon.
Kershaw entered his start against the Rockies with a 9.00 ERA, but dominated to the tune of one unearned run and two hits in five innings and Kemp ended an 0-for-11 rut with two hits in the Dodgers' 6-1 victory at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
The Rockies' Jeff Francis extended his scoreless spring to 13 innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth, managing just one out through five batters before leaving the game. He ended up being charged with four earned runs on six hits, with two strikeouts and two walks.
Francis was removed because his pitch count reached 70. As the season draws nearer, he is looking forward to working out of difficult spots.
"I thought of that before I came out of that game -- this is the kind of situation that I need to get out of," Francis said. "I just didn't make some pitches I needed to make.
"The first four innings, I was really happy. In the fifth inning, I started missing quite a bit. As I get used to throwing more innings and going deeper in the games, I'll be sharper."
The Dodgers scored six times in the fifth, with the big hit being Juan Uribe's three-run homer off reliever Parker Frazier.
The Rockies' Dexter Fowler popped an opposite-field single to right against Kershaw to open the bottom of the first, and moved to third on productive outs by Josh Rutledge and Michael Cuddyer. Dodgers third baseman Elian Herrera then committed an error on Wilin Rosario's bouncer, allowing Fowler to score.
Kershaw dominated from there. The only other hit against him was Minor League first baseman Henry Wrigley's single with two outs in the second inning. Kershaw finished with nine groundouts and two strikeouts, against three walks.
Francis was cruising before the fifth inning. He didn't face more than one baserunner in the first four innings. After a leadoff walk to Kemp in the fourth, Francis forced Uribe into a double-play grounder.
Up next: Righty Chris Volstad, coming off a rough outing against Team USA in an exhibition game last week, will start against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch at 2:05 p.m. MT on Monday. Veteran first baseman Todd Helton, who has spent the last couple of days receiving treatment for a twisted left knee, is scheduled to play.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.