Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Gonzalez, who has a .338 average, will play the middle two games of the season-ending four-game series with the Cards. The Reds' Joey Votto enters Friday second at .323.
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who enters Friday third in the league with a .320 average and finished three RBIs shy of Babe Ruth's all-time September record of 43, started Thursday, but Tracy's plan is to rest him during the series.
Ryan Spilborghs took Gonzalez's No. 3 spot in the order. Spilborghs hit .314 with 14 doubles, a triple, two home runs and 22 RBIs in 60 games after the All-Star break, going into Thursday.
In other lineup news, Chris Nelson started at second base because Jonathan Herrera suffered from pain in his midsection, which he suffered during Wednesday's 7-6 loss to the Dodgers. Tracy did not rule out Herrera for the series.
Tracy also added that Michael McKenry, the regular catcher at Triple-A Colorado Springs, will receive his first Major League start in one of the games against the Cards. McKenry made two pinch-hit appearances and is 0-for-1 with a walk.
When McKenry makes his start, every position player with the Rockies will have started at least once.