Tony Mowbray's Boro had lost two league matches on the trot to relinquish second spot on the tier two table but managed to consolidate third position courtesy of a Scott McDonald brace.
The Australian striker netted in the 28th and 85th minutes, either side of Emmanuel Ledesma's 66th minute free-kick, to make it six league goals for the season and his performance was praised by the Riverside Stadium boss after a lean beginning to the campaign.
"He's come back into the fray the last couple of months and he's done exceptionally well for us. I think what he brings as well as his goals is his work ethic from the front," said Mowbray.
"People can talk about the goals and think 'he must have played well' and yet the coach's eye and hopefully the player's eye sees the unselfish work that Scott does for the team."
McDonald produced a customary opportunistic finish for the opener prior to the half-hour mark when stabbing home Lukas Jutkiwiecz's centered ball before he got on the end of the ex-Everton man's deft header to fire home with five minutes remaining.