Brad Hawpe went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Jeff Francis tossed 6 2/3 solid innings, as the Colorado Rockies continued their red-hot play with a 5-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series at Chase Field.
Francis (2-0) got the win, surrendering just one run on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk for the
Kaz Matsui drove in a run, his major league-leading seventh RBI of the playoffs, and scored once for wild-card entry
Todd Helton, playing in the postseason for the first time in his career, went 1-for-4 with a run scored for the
Eric Byrnes had two hits and drove in a run for the NL West-champion Diamondbacks, who are making their first NLCS appearance since winning the World Series in 2001.
Stephen Drew scored a run for the Diamondbacks, but his flyout with the bases loaded during an eventful seventh inning ended what could've been a big inning for the home squad.
Down 5-1 in the seventh, the Diamondbacks put together their best scoring threat since early in the game, while the fans showed their displeasure of a controversial runner's interference call.
After Justin Upton was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with no outs, Augie Ojeda hit a grounder to Atkins at third and his throw to second got
Second base umpire Larry Vanover immediately called
"He's battling out there, trying to take someone out," said Melvin of Upton's slide. "He's trying to get us an extra out. He's trying to break up a double play."
Reliever Matt Herges walked Young to load the bases, but Jeremy Affeldt came on to get Drew to fly out to right to end the inning.
"We had some situations where we could've done some damage and didn't," said Melvin. "We didn't get it done and they did... We had a situation with a base hit we could've knocked a couple in. They were just more opportunistic when it really counted."
Brian Fuentes then worked the eighth and Manny Corpas tossed the ninth to secure the win for the
"It's one game in a best-of-seven series and there isn't anything we can do about it," Melvin added. "We just got to go out there and try to even it up (Friday)."
Holliday earlier reached on an infield single that hugged the third base line, actually bouncing foul before spinning back into play and hitting the third base bag.
Webb finally struck out Tulowitzki to end the frame.
Francis, meanwhile, was cruising. After the rocky first inning, he allowed just one hit until Webb started a scoring threat with a two-out single in the fifth. Chris Young followed with a walk, but Francis escaped any damage by striking out Drew to end the inning.
Francis then worked around an infield single in the sixth, getting Conor Jackson to hit into a double play and retiring Mark Reynolds on a grounder to short.
"It's a big win, Game 1 on the road," said Francis. "The big boost was having a three-run lead early."