Two goals from substitute Sidney Sam earned Bayer Leverkusen all three points against Greuther Furth, who slipped into the bottom two after their first away defeat of the season.
After a tight first half, Sam sprang from the bench to fire Leverkusen ahead in the 50th minute.
He then scored the second in the 62nd minute to give Leverkusen only their third win of the season and lift them up to sixth.
In the first-ever meeting between these two sides in an official fixture, Leverkusen threatened first when Gonzalo Castro sent in a curling effort in the 22nd minute, but it had a bit too much bend on it and went just wide of the far post.
Furth's only real effort of the first half was a speculative one from Bernd Nehrig in the 41st minute when he tried to curl the ball inside the far post with the outside of his left foot.
Sam came on for Leverkusen at half-time and he made an immediate impact, putting the home side in front five minutes after the re-start.
Stefan Kiessling gained possession and fed Andre Schurrle, who in turn threaded the ball into the penalty area to Sam, who turned onto his left foot before picking his spot low in the bottom corner of Max Grun's goal.
Sam scored his and Leverkusen's second goal with Daniel Carvajal stealing possession inside the Furth penalty area and squaring the ball to his team-mate, who only had to stroke it in from 10 yards.
Furth, who had picked up four points in their previous two away games this season, could not find an answer at the BayArena as they dropped into the bottom two along with Bavarian rivals Augsburg.