The 34-year-old from Vancouver made eight appearances for the Blue Jays this season, his sixth Major League club. He threw 3.1 scoreless innings in his first relief appearance against Atlanta on April 19 but had surrendered runs in four of his last five games. He pitched Saturday in Houston, giving up two runs on two hits without retiring a batter.
Todd Redmond, who previously had been designated for assignment by the Blue Jays to make room for Francis, was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo.
The Blues lost four times in Houston after dropping two of three in Baltimore to begin their road trip. Pitching in general has been a major concern with the Jays ranking 29th in earned run average (4.78) and 20th in reliever ERA (3.91).
Francis was the 2002 first-round draft choice of the Colorado Rockies in 2002 (ninth overall). By 2005 he was an established starter with the team and produced a trio of double-digit win totals from 2005 to 2007, winning 14,13 and 17 games. In 2007 he started Game 1 of the World Series for the Rockies against the Boston Red Sox.
In addition to the Blue Jays and Rockies, Francis has pitched for the Royals, Reds, A's and Yankees.