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Rockies Look To Rebound Against Florida

(Sports Network) - The Florida Marlins survived a meeting with Colorado Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez in last night's opener of a four-game series at Sun Life Stadium.

The Marlins figure to have an easier chance of matching their longest winning streak of the season this evening versus Jeff Francis, who is aiming to halt a five-start winless streak for the Rockies.

Florida got to Jimenez, the major-league leader with 15 wins so far this season, for six runs -- four earned -- over a season-low 5 1/3 innings for the National League Cy Young Award candidate last night, but still trailed by a run late thanks to a three-run homer by Colorado's Jonathan Herrera in the eighth inning, the first long ball of his career.

However, pinch-hitter Donnie Murphy drilled a two-run shot off Rockies closer and former Athletics teammate Huston Street in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Marlins to a 9-8 win and a third straight victory.

"I knew I hit it good. But some of these ballparks you don't know," Murphy said. "I saw it go in the stands. I was just happy."

Mike Stanton had three hits, one a three-run homer, and Emilio Bonifacio drove in two runs and scored twice for the Marlins, who are on their longest winning streak since a three-game burst on June 20-23. The club won a season-high four contests in a row from May 13-16.

Ian Stewart hit a solo homer for the Rockies, who have lost four of their last five and fell 4 1/2 games behind first-place San Diego in the NL West.

"When we score that many runs for [Jimenez], it's usually a victory, and that's the part that's hard," said Stewart on Colorado's website.

The Rockies will try to avoid a second straight defeat tonight and help Francis earn his first victory since June 13. The left-hander is 0-1 with an 8.03 earned run average in five starts since and hasn't factored into the decision of his last two outings.

Francis' last start came on July 11 versus the Padres and he gave up three runs on eight hits and three walks over five innings. The 29-year-old is 2-3 with a 5.14 ERA on the season and 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two career starts versus the Marlins.

The Marlins counter with Nate Robertson, who has allowed at least four runs in three of his last four starts. He lost to the Diamondbacks on July 10, getting charged for five runs on six hits and three walks over six frames to fall to 6-7 with a 5.10 ERA this year.

The 32-year-old southpaw is winless in three games (two starts) lifetime versus the Rockies, going 0-2 with an 8.74 ERA. He was drilled for four runs on five hits and four walks over four innings of a loss to them at Colorado on April 24.

The Rockies took two of three from the Marlins at home from April 24-25.