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Borussia Dortmund beats Schalke 3-0 in Ruhr Derby for 4th straight Bundesliga win

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FRANKFURT, Germany — Borussia Dortmund beat Schalke 3-0 in the "Ruhr Derby" on Saturday for its fourth consecutive Bundesliga victory.

After missing half a dozen chances in the first half, Dortmund's attack came alive late in the match, with goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus in the last 12 minutes of the biggest derby in German football.

The victory continued Dortmund's climb from the bottom of the table and Jurgen Klopp's team is now six points away from danger.

"It was a perfect afternoon," Klopp said. "We played a great game from the first to the last minute. We have to continue this way."

Elsewhere, bottom-place Stuttgart earned a 1-1 draw in Hannover, with both teams finishing the match with 10 men; Hoffenheim beat Mainz 2-0, Hertha Berlin edged Augsburg 1-0 and Bayer Leverkusen defeated Freiburg 1-0.

Runaway leader Bayern Munich beat Cologne 4-1 on Friday.

In the late match, Eintracht Frankfurt hosts Hamburger SV.

PHOTO: Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa from Japan, left, and Schalke’s Matija Nastasic from Serbia challenge for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between BvB Borussia Dortmund  and Schalke 04 in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa from Japan, left, and Schalke’s Matija Nastasic from Serbia challenge for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between BvB Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

In Dortmund, the home team dominated throughout and created a host of chances, but Schalke stayed in the match thanks to the inefficiency of Dortmund strikers and some good saves by 19-year-old Timon Wellenreuther, normally third-choice goalkeeper but playing because of injuries to the other two.

Aubameyang scored the first goal in the 78th following a deflected shot by Mkhitaryan, who doubled the lead one minute later as Schalke's defense collapsed. After the first goal, Aubameyang and Reus went through their Batman and Robin routine by celebrating while wearing masks of the cartoon characters.

In the 86th, Wellenreuther showed his inexperience when he allowed Reus to rob him of the ball and score the third in the 86th.

"There is no better feeling," Reus said after his team's first home win over Schalke since 2011. "It's the biggest game of the season for us."

Schalke coach Roberto di Matteo said he wanted to apologize to the fans after his team's third straight match without a win. "It was a difficult day for us. We have to think about how we want to proceed."

Leverkusen ended a three-match winless run and jumped to fourth place after a goal from captain Simon Rolfes in the 33rd minute.

Despite the point in Hannover, Stuttgart remains in last place. Stuttgart led through Christian Gentner in the 52nd but Lars Stindl equalized in the 70th. Stindl and Stuttgart's Martin Harnik were sent off late in the match after shoving and pushing each other.

Salomon Kalou's late goal allowed Hertha Berlin to escape from the danger zone, while Augsburg slumped to its fourth match without a win.

In his second game in charge, new Mainz coach Martin Schmidt fell to his first defeat, with Hoffenheim's Kevin Volland and Eugen Polanski scoring in the second half.

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PHOTO: Dortmund's Marco Reus, right, fails to score agaist Schalke's goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between BvB Borussia Dortmund  and Schalke 04 in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
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