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Pitch count is flexible when starters are sharp

DENVER -- If the Rockies' young pitchers can perform like Jeff Francis did Wednesday against the D-backs, the 75-pitch limit will be thrown out the window.

"I'd be more than willing [to let them exceed it]," manager Jim Tracy said. "Actually, I want to."

Francis threw 97 pitches in six innings, helping the Rockies snap a three-game losing streak. Tracy let Francis pitch well past the limit, which was established last month as the club elected to go with a four-man rotation.

Tracy was able to go to a more conventional bullpen setup -- Adam Ottavino in the seventh inning, Matt Belisle in the eighth and Rafael Betancourt for the save -- than the piggy-back method the Rockies have used, where a long reliever takes over for the starter after four or five innings.

"It makes the bullpen better, it makes everything better," Tracy said.

DENVER -- If the Rockies' young pitchers can perform like Jeff Francis did Wednesday against the D-backs, the 75-pitch limit will be thrown out the window.

"I'd be more than willing [to let them exceed it]," manager Jim Tracy said. "Actually, I want to."

Francis threw 97 pitches in six innings, helping the Rockies snap a three-game losing streak. Tracy let Francis pitch well past the limit, which was established last month as the club elected to go with a four-man rotation.

Tracy was able to go to a more conventional bullpen setup -- Adam Ottavino in the seventh inning, Matt Belisle in the eighth and Rafael Betancourt for the save -- than the piggy-back method the Rockies have used, where a long reliever takes over for the starter after four or five innings.

"It makes the bullpen better, it makes everything better," Tracy said.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.