Jeff Francis set to return 15 months after surgery

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Jeff Francis last started a regular season game in September of 2008, but the Rockies left-hander is scheduled to rejoin the rotation Sunday nearly 15 months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Francis’ first minor league rehab start didn’t go very well last week, but he tossed seven shutout innings in his second outing Tuesday at Double-A and will come off the disabled list to face the Nationals.
“A lot of time has passed since the last time I pitched,” Francis told Jack Etkin of InsideTheRockies.com. “I look forward to being out there and helping this team win a bunch of ballgames.”
Francis was a big part of the Rockies’ run to the World Series in 2007, going 17-9 with a 4.22 ERA in the regular season and 2-1 in the playoffs, but logged 232 innings after previously never topping 200 and went 4-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 2008 before shutting things down.

Rich Hill has a perfect game through eight innings

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UPDATE: He’s perfect through eight! He has ten strikeouts on the night. One more inning to go. And, of course, the Dodgers need to give him at least one run or else this thing doesn’t end in nine. Note: No Dodgers pitcher has tossed a perfecto since Sandy Koufax did it against the Chicago Cubs on September 9, 1965.

9:09 PM: Dodgers starter Rich Hill is facing off against the Pirates in Pittsburgh tonight. And he’s not having any trouble with them: he’s absolutely perfect though seven innings. He’s needed 73 pitches to get that far, so if he can keep the perfection up he certainly has enough in the tank to finish it.

Thing is: he may not even get the win. That’s because Pirates starter Trevor Williams has blanked the Dodgers through eight, scattering seven hits and four walks yet, somehow, not allowing a run to score.

The Pirates are coming to bat in the bottom of the eighth. We’ll keep you posted.

Zach Britton’s consecutive saves streak has ended at 60

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On September 20, 2015, Zach Britton blew a save against the Rays. Little did he know that he wouldn’t blow another save until August 23, 2017, converting 60 consecutive save opportunities.

Britton took the mound with a 7-5 lead in the top of the ninth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Athletics. He yielded a single to Jed Lowrie, a double to Boog Powell, an RBI single to Marcus Semien, and a sacrifice fly to Matt Joyce to allow the A’s to close the two-run deficit. In the next at-bat, he uncorked a wild pitch and then walked Khris Davis before being removed from the game. Miguel Castro relieved Britton, but walked Ryon Healy on four pitches to load the bases. Castro wriggled out of the jam by getting Matt Olson to pop up and striking out Matt Chapman, stranding two of Britton’s runners.

Britton entered Wednesday’s action 11-for-11 in save chances on the season with a 2.88 ERA and a 19/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. He missed two months earlier this season with a strained left forearm.