Third-inning error dooms Mets' Ishii

DENVER (AP) -- The Colorado Rockies have watched their blunders
turn into runs and losses all season. No wonder they took so much
enjoyment from seeing it happen to the New York Mets.

Jeff Francis pitched into the seventh inning, Dustan Mohr
homered and Colorado scored three runs after an error in the third
inning, lifting the Rockies to a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night.

The Rockies have baseball's worst record (36-63) in part because
they have the most errors (84), have hit the most batters (64) and
thrown the second-most wild pitches (45).

The Mets made only one mistake, and it was all Colorado needed.

"It's always gratifying when you can take advantage of another
team's miscues. Lord knows we've had our share and we've paid the
price for them," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "At this
level, you make mistakes you usually end up paying for them and you
capitalize on them it's that much better for your club."

With two outs in the third inning, Kasuhisa Ishii (3-9) got Eric
Byrnes to hit a grounder to shortstop. Jose Reyes fielded the ball
cleanly and made a low throw, but the ball bounded off the heel of
first baseman Chris Woodward's glove for an error.

Byrnes moved to second and Ryan Shealy followed with a
run-scoring single. Mohr then hit his ninth homer, a two-run shot
to left that put the Rockies up 4-2.

"I have to make that catch. It doesn't matter what the
circumstances were, it was catchable and I have to make that
play," Woodward said.

It was all Francis (9-7) needed.

The left-hander had his changeup working on an unusually cool
night in Denver, keeping the Mets offbalance most of the game.
Francis gave up a run in the third on Reyes' infield single --
shortstop Anderson Machado had trouble getting the ball out of his
glove -- but not much else until David Wright led off the seventh
with a homer that cut Colorado's lead to 4-2.

Francis allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings after
giving up seven runs and 11 hits in five innings his last start.

"In the games I've struggled, the biggest thing has been
execution," said Francis, who is 9-2 with a 3.72 ERA in 12 career
starts at Coors Field. "What I concentrated on in this game was
being consistent with execution, down in the zone and in and out --
keep hitters defensive and guessing."

It worked against the Mets, who have somehow lost their power in
baseball's highest-scoring ballpark.

Wright had three hits, including his 15th homer, to extend his
hitting streak to 13 games, but didn't get much help.

After scoring 48 runs in seven games before arriving in Colorado
for a three-game series, the Mets have managed just five runs and
15 hits -- nine on Tuesday -- in their first two games this season at
Coors Field.

"It always looks uneasy when you're not scoring runs," Mets
manager Willie Randolph said. "We've kind of turned the faucet off
the last couple of days."

New York had its chances.

The Mets had the bases loaded against former teammate Mike
DeJean after Francis went out in the seventh, but the right-hander
struck out Mike Cameron to end the inning. Cameron came up in the
ninth with the tying run on second after Reyes' run-scoring double,
but Brian Fuentes struck him out looking for his 16th save.

New York has lost two straight to the last-place Rockies after
winning five of seven.

"We have to do a better job," Wright said. "We have gotten a
couple of good pitching performances, and our offense is struggling
a little bit."

Ishii certainly did his part.

The left-hander pitched well enough to win, allowing one earned
run and seven hits in five innings while working around four walks.
It just wasn't enough to overcome Woodward's error, leading to
Ishii's sixth loss in eight decisions.

"The game is about team play and when I make a mistake on the
field, my teammates are there to back me up," Ishii said. "When
my teammate makes an error, then it is my responsibility to pick
them up, and tonight I felt like I let my teammates down."

The Rockies played without All-Star first baseman Todd Helton,
who strained a calf muscle running the bases Monday against the
Mets. He was replaced by Shealy, who arrived an hour before the
game after flying in from Round Rock, Texas, where Triple-A
Colorado Springs was playing.

The late arrival didn't seem to bother Shealy. He had the
run-scoring single in Colorado's three-run third inning and made a
tough stop on a one-hopper by Cliff Floyd to start an inning-ending
double play in the sixth.

"I don't know if he worked with the captain or anything else
along the way, but he drove in a big run for us and he made a big
defensive play for us," Hurdle said.

Game notes
New York's Mike Piazza caught his 1,506th game, tying
Darrell Porter for 25th all-time. ... Francis had his second career
double in the fourth inning off Ishii. ... The Rockies had two
errors behind Francis, including one by Machado in the seventh, but
the shortstop made up for it on the next batter with a diving catch
on Woodward's liner.