Bruno saves two spot-kicks in Flamengo win
Flamengo climbed to third on 54 points from 33 matches, four points behind title holders Sao Paulo, who went top for at least 24 hours when they beat Barueri 1-0.
Young Santos midfielder Paulo Henrique Ganso's nerves may have got the best of him as he twice failed from the penalty spot in front of a crowd of 80,000 at the Maracana.
Bruno saved the first in the 20th minute with a fine dive to the left corner and the second 17 minutes from time with his feet.
Brazil striker Adriano scored the only goal in the seventh minute, a header from Leo Moura's cross.
"We're reaping the good fruit of our serious work," said Bruno, who has now saved three penalties in a row having stopped one in a 1-0 win over Botafogo a week ago.
The goal at Sao Paulo also came early, midfielder Jorge Vagner scoring in the fifth minute.