Veteran lefthander Jeff Francis gave himself a passing grade for his pitching performance in his return to Security Service Field on Friday. He did a good job keeping his pitches low in the strike zone to get groundouts; a focus during his time in Colorado Springs.
“That’s No. 1,” he said. “Getting grounders and having a shortstop like Charlie (Culberson) playing well behind me has been key for me over the years.”
Francis threw 76 pitches, including 49 strikes, and allowed three hits and two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.
More importantly, the veteran pitched well enough to keep his team in the game, which was tied at 2-2 when the rain delay ended his night.
There’s a lot of career wins to be found in one corner of the Sky Sox clubhouse with the lockers of veteran righthander Aaron Cook (72 victories) and Francis (63) next to each other, putting the No. 1 and No.2 Rockies all-times winners inches of each other.
Sky Sox fans may see righthander Aaron Cook in action soon. Cook (injured arm) will throw a bullpen session on Monday, taking another step toward an eventual return to the lineup.
“We’ll reevaluate after that,” Cook said. “I had a bullpen session a couple weeks ago and had a setback so we’ll see.”
Ben Paulsen’s triple Saturday was his 10th this season, making him the 10th Sky Sox to do so and push the pro baseball-lead team into fifth all-time with 54. The franchise record is 74 in 1992. … Starter Chris Volstad opened with eight strikes in a row before throwing a ball with one out in the second inning.