St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz fields ground ball off the bat of Colorado Rockies' Nick Hundley to throw to first base for the out to end the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 19, 2016 in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
DENVER (AP) Carlos Martinez threw five effective innings and added a two-run double, helping the St. Louis Cardinals gain ground in the NL playoff race with a 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
The Cardinals moved within one game of wild card-leading New York after the Mets lost to Atlanta. San Francisco played later in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
Martinez, who turns 25 on Wednesday, gave himself an early birthday present by holding Colorado to two runs while striking out six. The right-hander is 9-1 on the road this season.
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Martinez (15-8) helped his own cause with a two-out double as part of a three-run fourth. He also was hit just below the left leg by a fastball from Tyler Anderson (5-6) in the third – two pitches after Randal Grichuk lined a two-run homer.