World Cup veteran Ze Roberto netted a second-half winner and defending champion Santos defeated Guaratingueta 1-0 to win its fifth consecutive match in the Sao Paulo state championship Sunday.
In the Rio de Janeiro state tournament, Vasco beat Friburguense 4-1, while Fluminense lost 3-2 to Volta Redonda.
Ze Roberto, Brazil's starting midfielder in last year's World Cup in Germany, scored the winner in Santos with a header from close range in the 75th minute, completing a left-flank cross by winger Kleber.
Ze Roberto entered the match only in the second half after being rested during most of the game by coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo. Santos begins its Copa Libertadores campaign Wednesday against Blooming in Bolivia.
Santos, trying to become the first back-to-back state champion since Palmeiras in 1993 and 1994, has won its last 14 matches at Vila Belmiro stadium in the tournament since 2005.
The two-time national champion hadn't won its first five matches in the competition since 1984, when it won the title.
Also Sunday, Brazilian champion Sao Paulo beat host Rio Claro 2-0 to remain unbeaten in four matches. Defender Alex Silva scored by beating three defenders before striking the net from inside the area. Striker Aloisio had the other goal for the 2005 champion.
Palmeiras, seeking its first state title since 1996, was held by newcomer Barueri to a 1-1 draw at Palestra Italia stadium. Defender Anderson Marques netted for Barueri in the 3rd minute and striker Cristiano equalized for Palmeiras in the 19th.
On Saturday, Corinthians _ the state's winningest club with 25 titles _ fell 2-1 to Ituano behind two goals by veteran striker Sorato. The result snapped Corinthians' three-match winning streak.
Also, Ponte Preta was held to a 2-2 draw against Sao Bento in Campinas, while America beat Juventus 1-0 in Sao Paulo. Sao Caetano defeated rival Santo Andre 3-0 in Santo Andre, and Noroeste was held to a 1-1 draw against host Marilia.
In the Rio de Janeiro state championship, Vasco won its second in a row by beating Friburguense 4-1 in Nova Friburgo. Argentine midfielder Dario Conca set up the first goal with a right-flank cross to Andre Dias' header 2 minutes into the second half.
Vasco hadn't won at Friburguense in nearly six years.
Fluminense was upset 3-2 by Volta Redonda at Raulino de Oliveira stadium in Volta Redonda. Amaral netted the winner from the top of the area in the 86th minute.
Defending champion Botafogo will play at Cabofriense on Wednesday, while Flamengo will be at Americano.