Kashima Antlers striker Yuzo Tashiro scored twice in the first half as his side beat Cerezo Osaka 3-1 in J.League action on Sunday.
Midfielder Takashi Inui had given the home side the lead in the 22nd minute but then Tashiro pounced, scoring twice in the final seven minutes of the first half.
Mitsuo Ogasawara scored the third goal in second half stoppage time.
The win lifts Antlers into 12th place on the table, one point ahead of Osaka.
Second-half goals by Keiji Tamada and Jungo Fujimoto steered fourth-placed Nagoya Grampus to a 3-0 away win over bottom side Avispa Fukuoka.
Tamada struck in the 51st minute and Fujimoto added the second in the 73rd minute.
Australian striker Josh Kennedy made sure Grampus went home with the points, slotting home a penalty in the 90th minute.
Second-placed Kashiwa Reysol lost the chance to close the gap on leaders Yokohama F Marinos when they were held to a goalless draw by Vegalta Sendai.