placed Mainz closed to within four points of German Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund with a 3-0 victory at home to Nuremberg on Friday night.
Andre Schurrle struck in the first half before Nikolce Noveski and substitute Sami Allagui added second-half goals to give Mainz a 10th win from 14 matches.
Dortmund, who have 34 points, host bottom club Borussia Monchengladbach in Saturday's late match.
Nuremberg could have moved up to seventh place with victory, but slumped to a sixth league defeat this season -- and third in a row -- to remain on 18 points.
Striker Schurrle scored his sixth of the season in the 27th minute, pouncing from close range after Malik Fathi guided Christian Fuchs' corner towards the visiting goal.
Captain Noveski doubled the lead nine minutes after halftime, with the Macedonia defender on hand to finish when Schurrle flicked on Fuchs' free-kick.
Nuremberg's on-loan midfielder Jens Hegeler then headed against the crossbar before Allagui sealed the victory with a superb solo effort with four minutes to play.