Francis on track after second rehab

Rockies right-hander throws seven scoreless innings for Tulsa

Jeff Francis struck out two over seven scoreless innings Tuesday. (Tulsa Drillers)

By | May 11, 2010 12:01 PM ET

Rockies starter Jeff Francis made his second and potentially final rehab start for Double-A Tulsa on Tuesday afternoon, allowing six hits over seven shutout innings in the Drillers' 4-1 loss to Northwest Arkansas.

Francis threw 86 pitches, 56 for strikes, and struck out two in his second outing since being placed on the Rockies' 15-Day Disabled List on April 3 with left shoulder soreness. He's expected to be evaluated by the club for a potential return to the Majors next week.

Francis threw 74 pitches and allowed two runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings in his first rehab start on May 6, hitting 90 mph on his fastball and reporting nothing more than normal soreness.

The Colorado starter induced mostly grounders on Tuesday, with 13 of his 21 outs coming that route. He hit a batter and faced 26 before exiting with a 1-0 lead.

Tulsa's bullpen failed to hold the edge -- 6-foot-7 right-hander Stu Pomeranz was charged with all four runs on five hits in the eighth before Chin Lung Lo worked a scoreless ninth.

Francis had shoulder surgery and missed all of 2009 but declared himself ready in Spring Training. He threw five scoreless innings in his final spring outing on April 1 but landed on the DL two days later with soreness in his arm. The Rockies have hoped he can continue his progression, building arm strength and velocity while at Tulsa.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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