DENVER -- In desperate need of victories, the Dodgers opened a critical trip with a 3-1 loss to Colorado on Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader in Coors Field.
Jeff Francis struck out 10 and outdueled Chad Billingsley. The Dodgers' lone run scored on Olmedo Saenz's pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning. Saenz batted for shortstop Rafael Furcal, who left the game with tightness in his lower back. The loss snapped Billingsley's four-game win streak.
Cory Sullivan scored the first two Colorado runs after leading off the fourth and sixth innings with doubles. Matt Holliday singled off Billingsley to score Sullivan in the fourth inning, and Todd Helton singled off Mark Hendrickson to score Sullivan in the sixth.
After Saenz's homer in the top of the seventh, the Rockies scored in the bottom of the frame when Joe Koshansky doubled in a run off Scott Proctor for his first Major League hit.
The Dodgers stranded nine runners, and were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.