ST. LOUIS — Jaime Garcia got rocked again by Colorado and fell well short of giving the St. Louis Cardinals three straight pitching gems.
"I made a couple mistakes and paid the consequences," Garcia said after allowing two homers that accounted for five runs in an 8-2 loss to the Rockies on Sunday. "Those guys had been doing an unbelievable job and you want to be able to continue a good thing."
Jorge De La Rosa held the Cardinals hitless into the seventh inning and Troy Tulowitzki's three-run homer ended Colorado's scoreless streak at 28 innings.
De La Rosa did not give up a hit until David Freese's two-out single in the seventh, answering a pair of outstanding performances by St. Louis starters Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright over the weekend.
"Jaime definitely had a couple of pretty tough acts to follow," manager Mike Matheny said. "We know this is a good-hitting team, we know they're capable of jumping on you and putting up a lot of runs in a hurry. It happened today."
Garcia (4-2) had won three straight starts with a 1.25 ERA and no homers allowed in that stretch of 21 2-3 innings before running into the Rockies. He gave up five runs over six innings and fell to 0-3 with a 10.53 ERA – his highest against any opponent – in four starts against Colorado.
The left-hander entered as the career ERA leader at 8-year-old Busch Stadium at 2.41 but was undone by a changeup that stayed up in the zone against Tulowitzki in the third and a hanging curveball against Charlie Blackmon, who struck out in his first two at-bats, that went for a two-run homer in the sixth.
The Rockies and Marlins are the only National League teams Garcia hasn't beaten.
"How many starts have I made against them? Today was my fourth one?" Garcia said. "Obviously, they have a really good lineup, but I don't think about those things."
Garcia gave up just two homers in his first seven starts and entered with a 2.25 ERA overall.
Jordan Pacheco doubled with one out in the first to stop a 34-inning drought since Colorado's last extra-base hit, according to STATS. The Rockies finished with five extra-base hits, including a two-run double by pinch-hitter Reid Brignac off Carlos Martinez in the eighth.
The Rockies snapped a four-game skid and finished with 11 hits after totaling three in consecutive shutout losses to Miller and Wainwright.
Nolan Arenado, who singled with one out in the eighth to break up Wainwright's no-hit bid Saturday, was among four Rockies with two hits apiece.
The Cardinals lost for just the second time in 11 games. Matt Adams' RBI single off Matt Belisle in a two-run ninth, one of three hits by pinch-hitters, ended Colorado's shutout bid.
De La Rosa (4-3) struck out seven and allowed two hits in seven innings, baffling the Cardinals until Freese singled sharply to right off the glove of a diving Pacheco at first base. Jon Jay followed with a double. De La Rosa finished his longest outing of the season, and his best showing on the road by far, by getting Pete Kozma on a lineout to first.
De La Rosa entered 1-3 with a 5.13 ERA on the road and 2-0 at home with 12 scoreless innings. This was the fourth time he worked six or more scoreless innings.
Tulowitzki's eighth homer stopped the Rockies' scoreless streak two innings shy of the team record. They went 30 innings without a run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, 2010, according to STATS.
The Rockies entered the weekend with the top offense in the National League and still led with a .266 batting average going into the finale of the three-game series. Tulowitzki was 0 for 6 in the first two games with five strikeouts and Carlos Gonzalez had been hitless in 15 at-bats before finishing with two singles and a walk.
Blackmon batted eighth after being called up earlier in the day to replace Michael Cuddyer, placed on the 15-day disabled list with a neck injury. He got unexpected cheers after hitting his fourth career homer – he was introduced in his first at-bat as a player making his major league debut.
Colorado had five hits in the first three innings after totaling three and going 40 consecutive at-bats without a hit the previous two days. The Rockies have never been shut out three straight times.
The Cardinals' streak of retiring 40 straight batters is tied for the second-longest in the majors since 1974, two shy of the record set by the Seattle Mariners from Aug. 14-17 last year, with Felix Hernandez throwing a perfect game on Aug. 15. Rangers pitchers retired 40 in a row in 1996.
NOTES: Gonzalez had two singles and a walk and is 6 for 12 against Garcia. ... Cardinals pitchers had a 2.02 ERA over the previous 10 games. ... Cardinals C Yadier Molina was 0 for 3, ending an 11-game hitting streak. He had five hits in the first two games of the series.