Huub Stevens' side were comprehensively beaten by Stuttgart at the Mercedes-Benz Arena as Hamburg, Nurnberg, Frieburg and Borussia Monchengladbach claimed wins
Hamburg and Hoffenheim kicked off the weekend's action at the Imtech Arena, where the hosts ran out 2-0 winners.
The hosts took the lead midway though the first half. Dennis Diekmeier ran into some space down the right-hand side and sent in a lovely cross for Artjoms Rudnevs, who caught Koen Casteels out with a looping header from the edge of the box.
The second arrived after the break. A threatening free kick from just outside the box was cleared as far as Rudnevs, who smashed the ball home to seal an important win.
Thanks to this result, Hamburg sit a mere point away from the final Europa League place. Hoffenheim remain in the bottom three, however.
STUTTGART 3-1 SCHALKE
Stuttgart's recent run of good form continued when Bruno Labbadia's men beat out-of-shape Schalke 3-1 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena to secure their third straight win.
The breakthrough arrived after a matter of seconds. Ibrahima Traore bounded down the left wing and put in a threatening cross, and Vedad Ibisevic beat Benedikt Howedes to the ball to tap it home. Less than 10 minutes later, though it was all square when Jermaine Jones strode forward and picked out the unmarked Ciprian Marica, who slotted home coolly.
Just before the break, though, the hosts regained their advantage thanks to another Ibisevic strike, this time from the penalty spot. Just after the hour-mark, the win was complete when Timo Hildebrand parried a Raphael Holzhauser shot into Ibisevic's path, and the Bosnian completed his hat-trick.
To compound matters, Jones received his marching orders 10 minutes later for a wild tackle on Traore.
Schalke have now dropped to fifth in the table, with Stuttgart one place behind, level on points.
NURNBERG 2-0 FORTUNA DUSSELDORF
Nurnberg grabbed a much-need 2-0 victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf in Bavaria to move clear of the drop zone.
Axel Bellinghausen squandered a golden opportunity to put the visitors ahead early on, skying a shot from a matter of yards, and the miss was to prove costly. Markus Feulner found some room down the right and slid it across to the in-form Sebastian Polter, who tucked it home from close range.
And Feulner was involved with the second goal as well, exchanging passes with Timothy Chandler in second-half stoppage time before lifting the ball over Fabian Giefer to make the points safe.
FREIBURG 1-0 GREUTHER FURTH
Freiburg moved into the top half of the Bundesliga table thanks to a 1-0 win over Greuther Furth at the Mage Solar Stadion on Saturday.
The hosts had stuttered to a disappointing 1-1 draw with Augsburg on their previous league outing, but got off to an ideal start here, when Daniel Caligiuri received the ball from Jonathan Schmid with his back to goal, pivoted on the edge of the box and fired a ferocious effort that whistled beyond Wolfgang Hesl and into the back of the net.
And the 15th-minute strike proved to be enough to ensure that the Bavarians remain rooted to the bottom of the table and Freiburg sit just four points away from the Champions League places.
EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 4-1 WERDER BREMEN
Eintracht Frankfurt reclaimed their place in the top four with a 4-1 win over Werder Bremen at the Commerzbank Arena to finish up Saturday's action.
The first half was goalless, but the hosts broke the deadlock within seconds of the restart. Bastian Oczipka swung in a ball from the left, and Alexander Meier was there to head it beyond Sebastian Mielitz and into the back of the net. Just minutes later, though, Thomas Schaaf's men were back on level terms with Nils Petersen beating his marker to Marko Arnautovic's cross and glancing the ball into the back of the net.
The game had come to life, and Armin Veh's side were soon back in the lead when Pirmin Schwegler received the ball received the ball on the edge of the box and sent a trademark shot past Mielitz.
Stefan Aigner made it 3-1 with a cool finish after some good work from Olivier Occean, and Takashi Inui rounded off a convincing victory in the dying moments.
BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH 2-0 MAINZ
Mainz's good run of form came to an abrupt end when they crashed to a 2-0 victory at the hands of Borussia Monchengladbach in Sunday's first match.
The hosts were fresh from a fabulous 3-0 win over Fenerbahce in Liverpool in midweek, but struggled to impose themselves in the early part of the game. However, Mike Hanke was introduced at the break, and soon made an impact arriving at the far post to tap home Tony Jantschke's crisp pass.
Soon after, a moment of brilliance decided the game. Heinz Muller charged out of his goal to clear a ball that, in truth, posed little danger, but could only divert it straight to Juan Arango, who hit an astonishing dipping, curling shot into the back of the net from 35 yards.
HANNOVER 3-2 BAYER LEVERKUSEN
Bayer Leverkusen's recent run of good results came to an abrupt end when they lost 3-2 to Hannover in the final match of the weekend.
The visitors got off to a fine start, though, netting after a matter of seconds when Lars Bender took a long ball down inside the box and cut it back for Gonzalo Castro, who tapped into the empty net with Ron-Robert Zieler well out of position.
However, Hannover fought back, and soon after had equalised. A slack pass from Philipp Wollscheid gifted possession to Szabolcs Huszti, who was promptly brought down by Manuel Friedrich, but stepped up to smash home the resulting penalty.
Soon after the restart, Hannover were ahead. Zieler rolled the ball out to Jan Schlaudraff, who was allowed to run unopposed deep into the Leverkusen half and aim a perfect ball onto the head of Mame Biram Diouf, who nodded it past the wrong-footed Leno with ease.
Less than 90 seconds later, though, they were pegged back, with Bender getting to the byeline and hanging in a cross for Stefan Kiessling, who headed an equaliser. With just over 20 minutes to go, though, B04 shot themselves in the foot once more, with a reckless Stefan Reinartz tackle giving Huszti the chance to score a second penalty - which he did not refuse.