Growing up in Vancouver and making his offseason home in London, Ontario, Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis finds extra significance any time he heads north of the border to face the Blue Jays.
Francis will make his second career start in Toronto on Tuesday as the two clubs square off at Rogers Centre.
Francis won his only start there, pitching for the Royals and holding the Jays to two runs on six hits in six innings of work for a 9-6 victory on Aug. 25, 2011.
"It was fun, there were a lot of people here," said Francis, who set up a group-ticket plan and expects 15 or so friends and family members. "And any time I get to face a team where it's on TV across the country and they can watch, it's fun. You want to have a good game every time, but sometimes it's a little extra special."
Francis (2-4, 5.87 ERA) did well in his last outing against the Nationals on Thursday, striking out eight in six innings for the no-decision. The left-hander felt he had an effective curveball throughout the contest.
"I certainly had it going that day. I had a good rhythm, guys were making plays and I was working quick," he said. "A lot of things went my way."
Meanwhile, Francis' former teammate, Esmil Rogers (2-2, 3.21 ERA) will be on the hill for the Blue Jays as they go for their seventh straight win. The right-hander pitched for the Rockies from 2009-2012.
Rogers is still building up arm strength after moving to the starting rotation just a few weeks ago. However, he won't be on a strict pitch count for Tuesday's game.
Tallying his second win of the season on Thursday against the Rangers, he allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings of work.
"I've seen better command than he's had coming out of the bullpen. It's a different approach for him. That might be a part of that. He's breaking out his curveball and some changeups, which he doesn't do as a reliever," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's strong and durable. He's turned into more of a pitcher. You have to be when you're in that role. Just not coming in there and airing it out like he was coming out of the bullpen."
Rockies: CarGo wins NL Player of the Week
Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez earned National League Player of the Week honors on Monday for the period ending on June 16.
The slugger hit three home runs last week to bring his season total to 20 homers. He was 10-for-21, adding a pair of doubles and a triple while driving in eight runs.
He also did it on defense, firing a cannon from left field on Sunday at Coors Field to nail the Phillies' Michael Young at home plate.
Blue Jays: Morrow and Reyes play in rehab game
Continuing their rehab, right-hander Brandon Morrow and shortstop Jose Reyes suited up for Toronto's Class A Dunedin Blue Jays on Monday night.
It marked the first rehab game for both players since hitting the disabled list.
The Blue Jays shortstop was expected to log a maximum of five innings, while Morrow was to throw in the range of 40-50 pitches.
Both players are expected to face stiffer competition in either Double-A or Triple-A before returning to the Majors if they have no setbacks in their rehab.
• Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ will throw his second bullpen session on Tuesday or Wednesday as he continues to rehab his sprained right knee. Happ threw off the mound for the first time over the weekend. He injured his knee in early May when he was struck in the head by a ball in St Petersburg.
• In 70 career games with the Rockies, Rogers went 8-11 with a 6.81 ERA.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.