Mallik Wilks scored twice as Hull City returned to winning ways with a convincing victory at Rochdale.
The 21-year-old set the Tigers on their way to a fifth win in six league matches with a bullet header from Callum Elder’s 20th-minute corner.
He doubled the lead 17 minutes from time with a well-taken volley and Josh Magennis made it 3-0 moments later with a close-range header.
Grant McCann made three changes to the side beaten by Fleetwood eight days ago.
Jacob Greaves came in for his Tigers league debut, with fit-again captain Richie Smallwood returning in midfield and Magennis, back from international duty with Northern Ireland, starting up front.
Hakeeb Adelakun dropped to the bench, with Jordy de Wijs missing out through illness and Dan Batty not involved in the matchday squad.
Tom Eaves took his place among the substitutes after returning from injury.
After a quiet start, the Tigers started to take control and fashioned the game’s first chance with nine minutes on the clock.
Callum’s Elder’s low left-wing cross was cleared only as far as George Honeyman but the midfielder – with two goals in his last three games – couldn’t keep his first-time effort down.
Greg Docherty then advanced into the box and saw a shot deflected behind off Dale skipper Eoghan O’Connell, while Magennis was inches away from connecting with Elder’s inviting centre.
It was from another Elder delivery that Hull City made the breakthrough on 20 minutes, Wilks meeting the left-back’s in-swinging corner with a bullet far-post header.
Buoyed by the goal, Wilks shot wide via a deflection and Reece Burke fired over after latching onto O’Connell’s wayward clearance.
Rochdale’s first meaningful opportunity took 28 minutes to arrive but should have produced an equaliser as Jake Beeley glanced a free header wide from an Aaron Morley corner.
The visitors still looked the more dangerous, with Keane Lewis-Potter heading straight at Gavin Bazanu after Magennis had hooked Elder’s deep set-piece back across goal.
Lewis-Potter went close to doubling the Tigers’ lead two minutes into the second half, cutting inside and curling right footed towards the far post but a full-stretch Bazanu palmed the ball away.
Docherty should have done better after dispossessing Jimmy Ryan deep in Dale territory but he was unable to trouble Bazanu with his bending shot.
The opportunities were starting to flow for the Tigers as Wilks picked out Lewis-Potter, who stepped inside his man and arrowed a drive over the bar.
Morley wasn’t far away from a spectacular equaliser for Dale just past the hour mark, whistling a sweetly-struck 25-yard effort narrowly over.
Another chance went begging for Hull City as Honeyman’s delightful clipped cross was headed wide by Burke via a deflection.
A second goal finally arrived on 73 minutes, Wilks steering a beautifully controlled left-footed volley into the bottom corner from Magennis’ lay-off.
That was quickly followed by a third two minutes later, Magennis rising highest to power home a close-range header from Honeyman’s pinpoint cross after a well-worked short corner routine.
It should have been 4-0 as Eaves played in Wilks but a covering defender made an important block to deny him his hat-trick, with the forward firing another effort into the side-netting.
Rochdale: Bazunu, Bola, McShane (McLaughlin 55’), O’Connell ©, Morley, Newby, Beesley, Keohane, Rathbone, Ryan (Dooley 59’), Lund (Done 85’).
Subs not used: Lynch, Tavares, Hopper, Dunne.
Hull City: Ingram; Emmanuel, Greaves, Burke, Elder; Smallwood (A Jones 79’), Honeyman, Docherty (Slater 76’); Wilks, Magennis (Eaves 76’), Lewis-Potter.
Subs not used: Long, Coyle, Adelakun, Mayer.