WSH@COL: Francis strikes out eight over six innings

LOS ANGELES -- Left-hander Jeff Francis believes his rough 2013 season is likely his last with the Rockies, but he is being given an opportunity to author his own goodbye.

The Rockies will start Francis (2-5, 6.61 ERA in 22 appearances, 11 starts) in Sunday's season finale against the Dodgers.

"I certainly like it a lot," said Francis, 32. "Starting is what I've always done and it's where I want to be. I'm certainly honored that they gave me the opportunity.

"I don't really want to speculate but I would think my time as a Rockie is probably closing."

The Rockies selected Francis in the first round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft. He grew into Colorado's No. 1 starter during the magical 2007 season, in which he won 17 regular-season games and two in the postseason and started Game 1 of the World Series. With the exception of spending 2010 with the Royals and beginning 2011 with the Reds in Triple-A, Francis has been a Rockies player.

The start is in the place of righty Tyler Chatwood, who is dealing with right elbow soreness. Sunday will be Francis' first start since June 18 at Toronto.

"We were looking for a starter, and I think it makes sense," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Jeff has certainly earned that. He's done so much for this organization, for this franchise, over the course of his career. I felt this was the right thing to do."

Francis' 63 career wins for the Rockies are second only to Aaron Cook's 72. Weiss said there is a chance Francis could be brought back next year. Realistically, it would be under a Minor League contract if at all, and after his less-than-stellar 2013, there is little chance another team would sign him to a Major League deal.

Wherever it is, Francis will be trying to add to his personal wins total next season.

"At the big league level, probably not to start, but I'll give everything I have," Francis said. "But I know if I can make an opportunity for myself, that's great. It's going to be up to me."

Mattingly won't miss having to contend with Helton

Helton acknowledges fans as he reflects on his career

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he will not miss having his pitchers face Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, whose 17-season career will end when the teams meet Sunday in the regular-season finale.

"He's been a great player," said Mattingly, whose swing was one Helton's was compared to early in his career. "Facing him from this side is not fun because he's a tough out. It seems like the bigger the situation, the better Todd is. We wish him a lot of success. I know he's meant a lot to that franchise."

It's doubtful, but Rockies manager Walt Weiss thought about it when asked if Helton would make an appearance on the mound Sunday. It's not far-fetched, being that there is talk of Yankees relief great Mariano Rivera playing some center field in his final game.

Helton served as the closer at the University of Tennessee.

For what it's worth, there has been buzz on Twitter.

"I guess I need to get on Twitter, huh?" Weiss said, with a chuckle. "I haven't had any conversations about it.

"Todd mentioned something about it in the spring in a joking-type manner, but we haven't had any conversations since then."

Cuddyer held out with left wrist soreness

STL@COL: Cuddyer makes a tumbling catch to end sixth

LOS ANGELES -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss sat National League batting leader Michael Cuddyer with left wrist soreness but said Cuddyer would be back in the lineup for Sunday's season finale.

Cuddyer went into Saturday hitting .333, nine points better than the Braves' Chris Johnson. Cuddyer would be the sixth Rockies player to lead the league in hitting over the team's 21 seasons. The others were Andres Galarraga (1993), Larry Walker (1998-99, 2001), Todd Helton (2000), Matt Holliday (2007) and Carlos Gonzalez (2010).

Cuddyer bruised his left wrist while making a diving catch Sept. 18 during the Rockies' final homestand. Cuddyer received a cortisone shot in the wrist so he could finish the season.

"I feel like that thing is still aggravating him, but of course 'Cuddy' wanted to get back in there," Weiss said. "But I made up my mind last night I was going to keep him out of the game tonight and go from there. There's a good chance he'll be back in there [Sunday]."

Catcher Wilin Rosario, out since Sept. 17 with a right calf strain, said he is available off the bench.