A happy return to the mound

Rockies left-hander Greg Smith’s return to the mound after not pitching in the Majors last season went much better than lefty Jeff Francis’.

Of course, Francis surrendered four runs and four hits in two innings against the Giants on Friday.

Smith made his return Friday against the Angels and threw two scoreless and hitless innings with two strkeouts and three walks. Smith, who has been a starter but could make the team as a reliever, started Friday. Scheduled starter Ubaldo Jimenez elected to drive to Tempe, but was caught in a major traffic jam and interstate closure, the result of an early morning traffic accident.

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