Gonzalez powers Rockies over Cardinals 6-1

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia delivers to the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, in St. Louis.

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia delivers to the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, in St. Louis. Photo by The Associated Press.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Carlos Gonzalez hit a three-run homer, Jason Hammel pitched into the seventh inning Saturday night and the Colorado Rockies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1.

Gonzalez also doubled in a run in the ninth to help the Rockies snap a three-game slide. Colorado also had dropped their last five games in St. Louis by a combined 22-3 score.

Left-hander Jaime Garcia had a rare off night at home as St. Louis fell five games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

Gonzalez went deep in the third inning, sending an 0-2 pitch over the wall in right for his 18th homer. He also became the first lefty batter to connect against Garcia since Philadelphia slugger Ryan Howard accomplished the feat on July 21, 2010.

Gonzalez also homered in Friday night’s 6-1 loss and has three homers in his last six games. The Rockies have homered in their last six road games.

Garcia (10-6) gave up five runs and six hits in five innings, dropping to 6-3 with a 2.06 ERA in 11 home starts this season.

Hammel (7-11) allowed one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings to earn his first win since July 29 at San Diego.

David Freese drove in Matt Holliday with a fielder’s choice and Yadier Molina singled to put runners on first and second before Hammel was replaced by Josh Roenicke.

Third baseman Chris Nelson then started an inning-ending double play with a diving catch on Ryan Theriot’s line drive.

Todd Helton hit a two-run double in the fifth inning to push Colorado’s lead to 5-0.

Garcia is 0-2 with a 17.28 ERA this season against the Rockies. He gave up a career-high 11 earned runs in a 15-4 loss at Colorado on May 28.

Albert Pujols, who entered the game 2-for 2-against Hammel, went 0-for-2 with a walk against the right-hander.

Notes: Edwin Jackson (8-8, 4.07 ERA) makes his fourth start for St. Louis against Esmil Rogers (6-1, 5.85 ERA) tonight. ... St. Louis OF Allen Craig is mired in an 0-for-10 slump. ... The Rockies have 33 home runs against left-handers this season, second in the NL. ... Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning stopped by to visit with Helton during batting practice. The two were former football teammates the University of Tennessee.

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