Norwegian striker Frode Johnsen scored a hat-trick to help Shimizu S-Pulse to a 6-3 victory over Shonan Bellmare to keep them in touch with J-League leaders Kashima Antlers.
Shonan, second from the bottom of the league and facing relegation, pulled two goals back towards the end of the first half but Johnsen's third goal, in the 51st minute, effectively ended their hopes of taking something from the game.
Shimizu are now on 33 points - with nine wins, six draws and one defeat to their name - putting them one point behind defending champions Kashima, who cruised to a 3-0 win over Vissel Kobe on Saturday.
Shimizu are followed by Nagoya Grampus on 32 points, Kawasaki Frontale on 28 points, and Cerezo Osaka and Sanfrecce Hiroshima on 26 points.
Nagoya defeated Yokohama Marinos 2-0 and Cerezo Osaka defeated Jubilo Iwata 3-0 on Saturday, while Kawasaki came back from two goals down to beat Vegalta Sendai 3-2 with Hiroyuki Taniguchi scoring the decider with six minutes to go.
In Sunday's other game, Korean forward Lee Keun-Hoo produced the last pass off a throw-in for Hideo Hashimoto's sole goal, to give Gamba Osaka a 1-0 win over Montedio Yamagata.