Ian Henderson's goal for Rochdale was enough to seal victory over Torquay.
Torquay goalkeeper Martin Rice pulled off a fine save to push Ollie Lancashire's header over the top.
The visitors also went close after Billy Bodin's cross was met by Aaron Downes, but his header flew straight into Josh Lillis' arms.
The game was settled when Henderson dispossessed Krystian Pearce and exchanged passes with Scott Hogan before firing past Rice.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Torquay boss Alan Knill told BBC Radio Devon:
"It was a whole lot better than last week.
"We were very competitive but we just lacked that bit of quality when we needed it.
"We move the ball well, it's just we need to score - it's as simple as that. We're creating chances but we need to be more clinical.
"We were happy at half-time but we gave the ball away and it ends up in the back of our net."
Rochdale 01 Lillis 06 Lancashire 15 Vidal (Bennett - 56' ) 22 O'Connell Booked 25 Rose 12 Lund 20 Barry-Murphy (Hery - 72' ) 29 Cummins (Done - 62' ) 09 Donnelly 11 Hogan 40 Henderson Substitutes 21 Thomson 03 Bennett 05 Eastham 14 Hery 16 Done 28 Camps 39 Bunny Torquay United 13 Rice 02 Tonge 03 Nicholson (Cruise - 86' ) 04 Downes 05 Pearce 07 Mansell 08 Harding 10 Bodin 12 Chapell (Sullivan - 84' ) 09 Hawley 16 Ball Substitutes 34 Lavercombe 20 Craig 21 Cruise 06 Lathrope 11 Cameron 31 Sullivan 14 Yeoman