GELSENKIRCHEN, April 5 (Bundesliga) - Schalke moved up to second place in the Bundesliga with a hard-earned victory at home to struggling Hansa Rostock.
Halil Altintop scored the game's only goal in the 52nd minute as the hosts racked up their fourth successive victory.
Mirko Slomka's side leapfrogged Hamburg to move into the automatic Champions League places, six points adrift of leaders Bayern Munich, who host Bochum on Sunday.
Rostock in contrast are now without a win in their last seven games and have dropped into the relegation zone, a point from safety.
However, the Royal Blues struggled to break down a resilient Rostock early on and, aside from Altintop's fierce shot which flew narrowly wide in the 17th minute, rarely threatened.
The Turkey international nearly went close again in the 40th minute after pouncing on a loose ball, but sent his effort right of an upright.
But the lively Altintop did break the deadlock seven minutes after the restart, charging into the area and heading Albert Streit's cross from the right past Rostock keeper Stefan Wachter from 10 yards.
Rostock were forced to show more adventure as they looked for an equaliser and almost got one with 20 minutes to play.
Schalke keeper Manuel Neuer parried Gledson's shot only to the feet of Addy-Waku Menga, whose follow-up effort from 10 yards was stopped on the line by Streit.
It was the home side though who looked the more likely in the closing stages, substitute Kevin Kuranyi spurning three chances in the last 10 minutes as Schalke pushed their opponents a step closer to the trapdoor.