Colorado Rockies Game 72 Preview: Jeff Francis vs. Esmil Rogers

Esmil Rogers will face the Rockies for the first time in his career tonight. - Tom Szczerbowski

Rockies look to even series in Toronto as Jeff Francis pitches in his home and native land for just the second time in his career and Esmil Rogers faces the Rockies for the first time in his career.

Jeff Francis will look to build on a strong outing in his last start against the Washington Nationals in which he threw six innings, allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out eight without walking a batter as he takes on the Toronto Blue Jays tonight at the Rogers Centre.

Francis, who enters the game with a 2-4 record and a 5.87 ERA, will be making his second career start in Toronto, his first coming in 2011 with Kansas City. He allowed two runs on six hits in six innings against the Blue Jays in that game.

Toronto enters tonight's contest having won six straight games, improving their record to 33-36 in 2013. The Blue Jays will hand the ball to former Rockie Esmil Rogers, who will be making his fourth start this season, his first with Toronto. He has thrown 14 1/3 innings total in his first three starts, allowing two runs on 11 hits with four walks and 11 strikeouts. He allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings in his last start at Texas.

Rogers is 2-2 with a 3.21 ERA in 42 innings with Toronto this season, his first north of the border. He had a 6.77 ERA in 184 2/3 innings over four seasons with the Rockies.

The Rockies enter tonight's contest just a half game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 37-34 record, but have never won in Toronto in seven tries.

Jordan Pacheco gets DH duties for the Rockies tonight, with Dexter Fowler getting the day off still dealing with his bruised hand. Tyler Colvin will play center field in Fowler's place with Carlos Gonzalez at his traditional left field spot. Also, Josh Rutledge is at second base, giving DJ LeMahieu the day off. Emilio Bonifacio enters the Toronto lineup tonight, batting ninth and playing second base.


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