Hot-shot Germany striker Mario Gomez hit his 17th league goal of the season on Saturday as defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich routed Hoffenheim 4-0 in the Bavarian capital to go third.
Gomez, the German league's top-scorer, brushed off last week's knee injury to convert his chance after just two minutes having been set up by Dutch winger Arjen Robben.
His Germany team-mate Thomas Mueller then put the hosts 2-0 up on 15 minutes at Munich's Allianz Arena after a strong run through the Hoffenheim defence by France wing Franck Ribery.
Robben turned from goal-provider to goal-scorer when he netted twice in the second-half to give him four goals from four games after only recently coming back from the thigh injury which kept him out until January this season.
"I am very happy with the performance," said Bayern coach Louis van Gaal.
"That was one of our best games this season and we concentrated for the full 90 minutes.
"With Robben and Ribery back, we had much more creativity.
"They are unbelievably important for Bayern."
With league leaders Dortmund hosting Kaiserslautern on Saturday night, the win moves Bayern up from fifth to third in the league table.
Second-placed Leverkusen got back to winning ways after last week's defeat shock defeat at mid-table Nuremberg when they won 3-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Midfielder Simon Rolfes, Brazil's Renato Augusto and Hanno Balitsch scored the goal as ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack spent the entire game on the bench as he worked his way back to fitness after four months out with injury.
"The fact that Michael Ballack has not played is nothing special for me," explained Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes.
"I am always wary of doing too much with players who have been injured for a long time."
Bottom side Borussia Moenchengladbach took another step towards relegation when they were beaten 3-1 at St Pauli and had goal-scorer Igor de Camargo sent off for a dangerous tackle after just 21 minutes to compound their misery.
Stumbling Stuttgart also dropped further into the relegation mire when they were humbled 4-1 at Nuremberg.
The 2007 German league champions could not repeat last week's miraculous 3-2 win at 'Gladbach, when they came from 2-0 down.
Bruno Labbadia's side have won just five games all season and are three points from safety with Cologne, who play fourth-placed Mainz on Sunday, also in the bottom three.
Schalke are up to 10th, as they prepare for next week's Champions League Round of 16 tie with Valencia in Spain, after they beat Freiburg 1-0.
Wolfsburg were beaten 1-0 at home by Hamburg as they begin life without ex-England manager Steve McClaren, who was sacked on Monday, and Wolves remain just one point from the relegation zone.