UBC grad Francis gets first career MLB save

Jeff Francis

VANCOUVER – Former UBC Thunderbirds pitcher Jeff Francis earned the first save of his Major League Baseball career today, reaching the milestone 10 years after his debut at the highest level of the sport.

Francis, playing for the Oakland Athletics, came into today’s game against the Miami Marlins with the bases loaded and just one out in the bottom of the 14th inning.
The Delta, B.C. native then struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and induced a fly out from Donovan Solano to end the game.
For Francis, his first save came in his 1,266th career inning pitched.

“I always thought, if I ever got a save, it would be those last three innings of a blowout,” the left-handed pitcher said to the Oakland Athletics website, grinning.
“That’s a pretty tall order to ask,” said manager Bob Melvin of the situation facing Francis. “Coming in with the bases loaded and one out, in a game where guys have been playing their hearts out for so long, he kind of holds the balance of the game in his hands there. Just terrific.

“He had a calmness when he came in the game. That’s just huge. Talk about a total team effort today. Just huge. Everybody.”
Francis also earned praise from his former manager.
“Jeff registering his first career save is a real special accomplishment,” said UBC head coach Terry McKaig. “Now in his 10th big league season, it has been 1,265 big league innings to get his first save for the Oakland Athletics!

“I know he is still really enjoying playing baseball and the entire Thunderbird family is extremely proud of what he has done since his days at UBC.”