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.
Anderson allowed five runs – two earned – in seven solid innings. The rookie is 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 12 starts at Coors Field.
Martinez was cruising along until one out in the fourth, when manager Mike Matheny came out to check on him. Martinez appeared to be cramping, and a ball boy brought out a glass of water, which he quickly chugged and continued on his way.
Martinez was pulled after the fifth. The bullpen bottled up the Rockies until pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn hit a solo homer off Kevin Siegrist in the ninth to make it 5-3.
After allowing a single to Charlie Blackmon, Siegrist struck out DJ LeMahieu before walking Carlos Gonzalez. The left-hander got Nolan Arenado to line out to left field for his third save.
Arenado, a Gold Glove third baseman, made a costly throwing error in the fourth. Martinez followed with a two-run double – giving him six RBIs this season – and Matt Carpenter added a run-scoring single.
LeMahieu finished 2 for 4 to run his average to .349 and take a slight lead over Washington's Daniel Murphy in the NL batting race. Murphy is hitting .348.
Cardinals: Matheny said there's been no discussion of possibly activating OF Matt Holliday (broken right thumb) to serve as a pinch runner. Holliday is still dealing with some swelling issues in the thumb after batting practice sessions.
Rockies: There are no plans for surgery on the broken left hand of 1B Mark Reynolds after he was hit by a pitch Sunday, ending his season. ''It's a tough break for Mark,'' manager Walt Weiss said.
HOLD THE ONIONS
A launched baseball in batting practice left a burger joint in quite a pickle.
The Helton Burger Shack located behind the bleachers in left field was closed Monday after a ball broke the glass protecting the prep area.
No official word on whose liner actually broke the window pane – Twitter conversations credited Holliday – but it wasn't the restaurant's namesake; Todd Helton retired after the 2013 season.
The Rockies have some history with Martinez. In July 2015, things got a little heated after he hit LeMahieu with a pitch.
''It wasn't an accident,'' LeMahieu said at the time. Martinez, through a translator, apologized for his role.
This was the first time Colorado had faced Martinez since that day.
Cardinals: With 132 wins, RHP Adam Wainwright (11-9, 4.51 ERA) tries to move closer to tying Dizzy Dean (134) for sixth on the team's career list.
Rockies: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (8-8, 5.22) is 4-0 with a 4.01 ERA in four starts against St. Louis at Coors Field.