The striker, who was handed a start by Boro boss Tony Mowbray after he scored both of the goals in last weekend’s 2-1 npower Championship win over Bolton from the bench, scrambled the ball home from six yards at the near post late in the first half.
Sunderland’s defeat ends their dominance in this fixture as, until last night, they were undefeated against Boro in six games.
SUNDERLAND: Westwood, Bardsley, O’Shea, Cuellar, Colback, Johnson (Campbell 82), Cattermole, Vaughan, Sessegnon, Fletcher, Saha (McClean 59).
MIDDLESBROUGH: Steele, Hoyte, Hines (Parnaby 65), Bikey, Friend, Ledesma (Reach 79), Leadbitter, Bailey, Haroun, Miller (Smallwood 90), McDonald.
Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).