The Wimbledon and Olympic champion won seven points in a row in the first-set tie-breaker and broke Bautista three times in the second set to lift his third Shanghai title.
Second-ranked Murray has now won 20 straight sets in a 10-match winning streak, marching to back-to-back titles in China including last week’s China Open victory in Beijing.
Murray also cuts the gap on Djokovic, who was shocked by Spain’s Bautista in the semis, to 915 points as he zeroes in on the Serb’s top ranking.
Murray’s first serve of the match was a thumping ace and he took a grip on the first set at 3-3 when Bautista netted a backhand to lose the first break point of the match.
But Murray, serving at 5-4, lost three set points and got in a tangle on a drop shot to hand Bautista his first break point, which he converted with a strong forehand.