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06/04/12 1:03 PM ET

Reds release veteran Francis at his request

Left-hander exercises opt-out clause in Minor League contract

On Monday, one day after tossing a complete-game shutout for Triple-A Louisville, veteran left-hander Jeff Francis was released by the Reds after choosing to exercise a June 1 opt-out clause in his Minor League contract, according to a tweet by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

In 12 starts with Louisville this season, the 31-year-old Francis went 3-6 with a 3.72 ERA over 77 1/3 innings. He struck out 65 batters while walking 18.

Francis spent last season pitching for the Royals, notching a 6-16 record and 4.82 ERA over 183 innings in 31 starts. He had spent his first six seasons in Colorado, where he went 55-50 with three double-digit-win seasons.

For his Major League career, Francis is 61-66 with a 4.78 ERA in 181 games, all but one of which were starts.

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.