Rockies roll to snap Marlins' three-game winning streak

MIAMI -- Melvin Mora's favorite moment from Tuesday night won't show up in any box score.

So it wasn't the three hits, which matched a season high. Or the three-run double in the third inning. Or the two-run homer in the fifth.

No, it was throwing out Wes Helms at second base, his first outfield assist since 2003.

"That was a pretty good game," Mora said afterward, beaming.

Sure was -- for him, for Jeff Francis and for the rest of the Rockies. Mora drove in five runs, Francis pitched seven crisp innings and Colorado beat the Florida Marlins 10-0.

Batting in the No. 3 spot for only the second time this season, Mora hit a bases-clearing double to highlight a six-run third inning. He also homered off Nate Robertson (6-8) in the fifth.

"Playing against the Marlins, you need to score early," Mora said. "Those guys can come back anytime. They're pretty good hitters."

Not against Francis (3-3), who simply cruised. The left-hander allowed three hits, struck out seven and walked none while lowering his ERA from 5.14 to 4.63.

"Far and away his best performance of the year, which was great to see," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "And I really believe the reason it happened was because he pounded the strike zone with his fastball."

Francis threw 73 of his 98 pitches for strikes. He had given up 16 earned runs in 12 innings over his previous three starts.

"The results were there," Francis said. "Not to mention having a sizable lead early in the game. That was pretty nice to pitch with."

Robertson gave up eight runs, seven earned, and six hits in five innings for Florida, which had won three straight.

It was the Marlins' most lopsided loss of the season and just the seventh time in franchise history where they gave up at least 10 runs at home while being shut out. The last was a 13-0 loss to the New York Mets on April 2, 2008.

A combination of things landed Mora in the Rockies' third spot.

Carlos Gonzalez -- the regular No. 3 hitter of late -- got the day off because of an aching index finger, which he aggravated in Monday's 9-8 loss to the Marlins. And Jason Giambi, who has filled the No. 3 spot at times, was out of the lineup because Tracy thought the time was right to get him a bit of rest.

So Tracy penciled in Mora, and it worked perfectly.

Robertson rolled through the first two innings, then lost his way in the third. He bobbled a sacrifice bunt by Francis, helping Colorado load the bases with no outs. Next, he hit Dexter Fowler in the back to drive in the first run, then issued a four-pitch walk to Herrera for the second.

When Robertson found the strike zone, he grooved a 77 mph offering to Mora, who connected on a three-run double. And in the fifth, Mora hit his second homer of the season, stretching the lead to 8-0.

"Everything starts with your starting pitcher," Robertson said. "We've been playing good and today I didn't set a very good tone. The weight of the game goes on me."

Mora entered with 14 RBIs, and just one homer since Sept. 19.

Colorado added two more runs in the seventh. Brad Eldred -- who played his college ball at nearby Florida International -- singled off Burke Badenhop to bring home Mora, and Ian Stewart walked to force Ryan Spilborghs home for a 10-0 lead.

It was more than enough for Francis, who set down 12 straight at one point and combined with two relievers on the three-hitter.

Florida didn't have anyone advance past first base in the game. Helms tried to stretch a single into a double, only to be thrown out by Mora from left, ending the sixth inning.

Game notes
It was the fourth time Colorado scored at least 10 runs in a road game this season. The Rockies have done it eight times in their offense-friendly park. ... Badenhop gave up two runs and three hits in two innings. He hadn't allowed a hit in four appearances since returning to the Marlins on July 7. ... Mora's career best is a six-RBI game for Baltimore against Detroit on Aug. 17, 2008. ... The Marlins failed in a try for their second four-game winning streak of the season. Their only other came May 13-16 against the Mets.