Commerce City, CO (Sports Network) - The San Jose Earthquakes solidified top spot in the Western Conference on Saturday, routing the Colorado Rapids 4-1 behind a hat trick from Chris Wondolowski.
The 'Quakes wasted no time in gaining the lead. Marvin Chavez was first to a loose ball at the top of box in the second minute of play and he fired a one- time effort past Matt Pickens.
San Jose's advantage was doubled in the 11th minute when Wondolowski chested home a cross from Rafael Baca.
Wondolowski added to the lead in the 50th minute when he took a failed clearance and fired a one-time shot that made its way through traffic and trickled past Pickens.
The 'Quakes striker completed his hat trick with his league-leading 25th goal of the season with just seven minutes to play, firing home from the top of the box off of a pass from Sam Cronin.
The only sour note on the night was when Jason Hernandez was sent off in stoppage time for brining down Andre Akpan in the box and denying a clear scoring opportunity. Akpan converted the ensuing kick to pull one back for the Rapids.
San Jose (19-6-7) improves to 64 points on the season to go six points clear of Sporting Kansas City in the race for the MLS Supporters' Shield.
Colorado (9-19-4) remains third from bottom in the West, stuck on 31 points.