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Rockies Vs. Cardinals: Jason Hammel Sharp As Rockies Roll, 6-1

Colorado Rockies starter Jason Hammel has had a very inconsistent season on the mound. He faced off against the St. Louis Cardinals young ace Jaime Garcia, and came out on top.

Carlos Gonzalez hit a three run homerun off the top of the right field wall in the third inning, giving Colorado a much-needed 3-0 lead. The Rockies would add on in the fifth inning, as Eric Young, Jr. reached first on an infield single. Garcia would intentionally walk Troy Tulowitzki to reach Todd Helton, and Helton made him pay with a double roped down the left field line, scoring both runners and giving Colorado a 5-0 lead.

Gonzalez would add another RBI in the ninth inning as his ground rule double scored Seth Smith.

Jason Hammel pitched into the seventh inning, allowing only a single run on a David Freese groundout that plated Matt Holliday. Hammel struck out only a single batter, walking three, but limited the damage with only five hits in 6.1 innings.

Garcia was charged with the loss after allowing five earned runs in 5.0 innings. He walked three Rockies and struck out four. Combined with his May 28 start against Colorado (when he surrendered 11 earned runs) Garcia has now suffered his two worst starts of the 2011 season against the Rockies with 16 earned runs allowed in just 8.1 innings.

The rubber match of the series will see Colorado send Esmil Rogers (who has been quietly dominant since returning to the rotation) to the mound against new Cardinals acquisition Edwin Jackson. This will be a rare Sunday night game with first pitch at 6:05 pm MDT, and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.