Schalke stayed on the coat-tails of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich with a 1-0 win at home to Nurnberg, while Borussia Dortmund also won.
Jefferson Farfan's 77th-minute goal settled the match and sent the Royal Blues up to second, four points behind Bayern having played a game more.
The win completed a week to remember for Schalke, who last weekend defeated champions Borussia Dortmund and in midweek won in the Champions League at Arsenal.
Dortmund also built on an impressive European win as they following their 2-1 success over Real Madrid with a 2-0 victory at Freiburg.
Neven Subotic broke the deadlock in the 54th minute and Mario Gotze made the points safe seven minutes from time.
Victory lifted Jurgen Klopp's side up to fourth, a point ahead of Mainz, who defeated Hoffenheim 3-0 courtesy of an Adam Szalai hat-trick.
The Hungarian scored in the 21st, 46th and 64th minutes to leave Hoffenheim battling at the wrong end of the table.
Wolfsburg moved off the foot of the table as Gunther Kostner's first match in caretaker charge ended in a 4-1 win at Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Kostner, handed the reins following the departure of Felix Magath, saw his side seize control of the game at the start of the second half.
Bas Dost put them ahead in the 50th minute and Ivica Olic made it two three minutes later.
Dost got his second in the 64th minute and, even though Jens Langeneke pulled one back from the spot, Diego scored a penalty for the Wolves in the 78th minute following the sending-off of Dusseldorf's Oliver Fink.
Greuther Furth dropped to the foot of the table following a 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen.
Edu put Furth ahead after eight minutes, but Nils Petersen equalised a minute before the break.