Early goals by Cacau and Ciprian Marica were enough to steer Stuttgart to victory over Bochum as they moved level on points with fifth-placed Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Friday night.
Brazilian striker Cacau was an attacking threat from the outset and he gave the visitors the lead after 14 minutes when he slotted home from close range.
Four minutes later Marica sealed matters with a right-footed shot to make it 2-0.
The result saw Stuttgart close to within a point of third-placed Werder Bremen in the Champions League qualifying berth ahead of the remaining weekend games, but left Bochum still hovering perilously close to the relegation zone.
Cacau produced the first threat on the Bochum goal after six minutes, unleashing a curling shot which appeared destined for the top corner until goalkeeper Philipp Heerwagen pulled off a good save.
However, eight minutes later the 29-year-old put his side ahead when Marica deflected Timo Gebhart's cross into his path and he coolly slotted home.
Cacau returned the favour just four minutes later when he played a through-ball to Marica, who bore down on goal before firing into the net.
Bochum had few chances although Anthar Yahia ghosted past two Stuttgart players before seeing his cross blocked.
Cacau sent in a long-range shot which flew narrowly wide eight minutes into the second half as the visitors looked to extend their lead.
Christian Fuchs missed a great chance to reduce the deficit in the 64th minute, failing to test Jens Lehmann with a header from Yahia's free-kick before Serdar Tasci almost put through his own goal.