Colorado Rockies' Ryan Spilborghs, right, steals second base as San Diego Padres' David Eckstein, left, makes a late tag during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
SAN DIEGO (AP) — NL batting leader Carlos Gonzalez had three hits and two RBIs to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 6-2 win Saturday over the reeling NL West-leading San Diego Padres, whose nine-game losing streak is their longest since 2003.
The Padres hadn't lost more than three in a row before this streak, during which they've gone from having the best record in the NL to having the third-best. They've been outscored 51-21 in the nine games.
Neither a pregame players-only meeting nor an appearance by the San Diego Chicken could pull the Padres out of their funk. The Chicken climbed over the center-field fence just after the Rockies botched a scoring opportunity in the fourth, but it didn't matter. Colorado beat San Diego for the 10th time in 14 games this year, including six of eight at Petco Park.
The Rockies pulled within 5½ games of the Padres, the closest they've been since July 23. San Diego entered the day with a three-game lead over the San Francisco Giants.
Gonzalez raised his batting average to .335 and extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Todd Helton hit a two-run single off Jon Garland to give the Rockies the lead in the third.
Jason Hammel (10-7) held San Diego to two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Garland (13-10) got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and struck out the side in the second before running into trouble in the third. He got the first two outs before Gonzalez walked and Troy Tulowitzki hit a hard shot off Garland's lower left leg that ricocheted into shallow right for a double. Helton followed with a single to right for a 2-1 lead.
Garland got the first two outs of the fifth before loading the bases on Tulowitzki's double to left, an intentional walk to Helton and a walk to Melvin Mora. That was enough for manager Bud Black, who pulled Garland for left-hander Joe Thatcher.
Shortstop Everth Cabrera bobbled a grounder by pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs and his throw to first was too late, allowing Tulowitzki to score for a 3-1 lead.
San Diego pulled within one on Nick Hundley's double with one out in the seventh, then left the bases loaded. Padres second baseman David Eckstein, who struck out to end the seventh, knocked down Dexter Fowler's grounder up the middle with two outs in the eighth but couldn't make a play, allowing Seth Smith to score. Gonzalez followed with a two-run double to make it 6-2.
The Padres took a 1-0 lead with two outs in the first when Ryan Ludwick singled to center and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's double into the right-field corner. Gonzalez thought it was a homer, but first base umpire Gary Darling gave no signal, then looked to third base ump Paul Emmett, who signaled safe. The umps huddled, then reviewed video, upholding the original call. Replays appeared to show the ball brushing off the padded wall on the home run porch.
Garland allowed three runs, two earned, and seven hits. He struck out seven and walked three.
NOTES: Padres 3B Chase Headley said the players held a pregame meeting to try to "ease the tension" of their losing streak. He said players were starting to press a little bit. ... The Padres will skip struggling lefty Wade LeBlanc's next start. The starters for the series against the Dodgers starting Monday night will be Mat Latos, Kevin Correia and Cory Luebke, who made his big league debut in a loss to the Rockies on Friday night.