Rudy Gestede claimed his second and third league goals of the season as Boro ran out comfortable 3-1 winners, Patrick Bamford with the Teessiders’ other goal on the stroke of half-time.
Having bemoaned his side’s limp attacking efforts in their weekend defeat to Cardiff, Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis will have been delighted with a much brighter display inspired by Adama Traore.
There is not much cause for positivity in the Hull camp and while Evandro’s equaliser towards the end of the first half briefly threatened to dent Middlesbrough’s superiority, the visitors finished well beaten. As a result, they are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Boro’s pre-match preparations had to be hastily redrawn a couple of minutes before kick-off, with Ben Gibson becoming ill during the warm-up. Dael Fry replaced the centre-half, but the reshuffle did little to disrupt Middlesbrough’s rhythm.
The hosts almost claimed the lead after just eight minutes, with Gestede heading against the outside of the post after winger Traore’s trickery teased out a crossing position.
Gestede’s frustration was obvious as the ball rebounded to safety, but the one-time Hull target did not have to wait long for his first Championship goal since August.
Eight minutes later, Traore sent Ryan Shotton scampering away on the overlap and after Bamford flicked on the full-back’s cross from the corner of the six-yard box, an unmarked Gestede had the simple task of nodding past Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor.
At that stage it looked as though Boro would cruise to victory but while Traore’s pace and trickery continued to cause problems all night, Hull gradually hauled themselves back into the game.
They were unable to profit from a 25th-minute mix-up between Fry and Darren Randolph but levelled in fine fashion four minutes before the break.
Boro’s defenders had switched off when attempting to defend a couple of previous corners, and were dozing again as Jon Toral pulled the ball back to the corner of the area and Evandro swept home an excellent first-time finish.
Hull were looking for a second league away win on the bounce, but Nigel Adkins’ side were only on level terms for four minutes. On the stroke of half-time, their defensive frailties were once again all too apparent.
Ola Aina’s slack square ball to Michael Hector was intercepted by Bamford and the Middlesbrough striker did the rest, sprinting clear to lift a deft finish over the onrushing McGregor.
Boro almost conceded at the start of the second half but after Darren Randolph saved from Fraizer Campbell, Will Keane dragged a second effort wide when he should really have found the target.
That was a let-off for the hosts, and they quickly took advantage by claiming a third goal shortly before the hour mark.
Traore’s searing pace once again pierced the Hull defence and after the winger cut the ball back from the byline, Gestede claimed his second goal of the night via a slick back-heel.
Cardiff remain unhappy with Derby's decision to postpone Sunday's Sky Bet Championship game at Pride Park.
Dundee United boss Csaba Laszlo has been left hoping for St Mirren to slip up in the race to seal promotion to the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Crewe will consider starting Chris Dagnall when they host Forest Green on Tuesday.