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Updated: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 11:01 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
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ATLANTA 8, COLORADO 1
 

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Chipper Jones was instrumental in Jeff Francis ' rude major league awakening.

Jones homered twice and drove a career high-tying five runs as the Atlanta Braves spoiled Francis' major league debut with an 8-1 triumph over the Colorado Rockies .

On fire since the All-Star break, Jones got to Francis early, belting a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. He added a three-run blast in the sixth for his second multi-homer game of the season and the 30th of his career.

"(Francis) tried to come in with a fastball and didn't get it," Jones said. "I was sitting pretty much off-speed for the second home run and he threw a changeup over the plate."

" Chipper Jones is able to do things like that," Francis said. "I will learn from that and maybe next time I will do better."

Jones has hit .311 (42-for-135) with 12 homers and 35 RBI since the break, reaching base safely in 31 of 37 games during the span. His two homers gave him 304 for his career, 10 behind Reggie Smith for fourth place on the all-time list among switch hitters.

"Chipper's been hot for a long time," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He's hit a ton of home runs, drove in a ton of runs and played a good third base."

He's really made some adjustments from both sides of the plate," said Atlanta's J.D. Drew, who went 3-for-4 and scored twice. "If he starts heating up, that's a plus for all of us."

Jones had a chance for a third homer but just missed, popping out with the bases loaded in the seventh.

"It would have been a lot better with an RBI or two in the inning," said Jones, who is 0-for-9 with the bases loaded this season. "Hopefully, when I do break out with the bases loaded, it will be in a big way. You've got to figure that I am due."

John Thomson (10-8) recorded his first win in as many decisions against his former team, allowing one run and five hits in seven innings. The righthander, who evened his record to 4-4 at home, walked one and struck out five.

"It's always good to go out, go seven innings and give up one run, no matter who it's against," Thomson said.

Colorado's first-round pick in the 2002 draft, Francis (0-1) was tagged for six runs and six hits, including three homers, in five innings. The lefthander, who was 16-3 in 24 minor league starts this season, walked one and struck out eight.

"It's a lot to learn," said Francis, who tied a club record for most strikeouts by a pitcher making his major league debut. "I think I went out there and attacked hitters, which is good. Obviously, I have some adjustments to make."

"He was a little like a good college quarterback going into the NFL," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He has a lot of tools. He had pretty good command, he had good rhythm."

Despite the rough outing, Francis also impressed his opponents.

"I can see why he's a No. 1 (pick)," Cox said. "He'll get his feet on the ground here and be dynamite."

"Most of the guys were impressed with him," Jones added. "The kid has a bright future. He just made a couple of mistakes."

Eli Marrero also homered for the Braves, who have won five of their last seven games.

Andruw Jones and Julio Franco had run-scoring singles for Atlanta, while Aaron Miles plated the Rockies' lone run with a sacrifice fly.


© 2005 STATS, Inc
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