Blackburn win to steer clear of drop zone
Junior Hoilett opened the scoring in the 58th minute, latching on to a weak punch from Sunderland goalkeeper Simone Mignolet to volley the ball into the net from the edge of the area.
Striker Yakubu sealed victory for Rovers four minutes from time, heading home from close range following a fine cross by substitute Bradley Orr.
Blackburn stayed 16th in the table but moved six points ahead of Queens Park Rangers, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers who occupy the bottom three spots in the 20-team standings.
Second-placed Manchester City host Chelsea on Wednesday seeking to close a four-point gap on leaders Manchester United while third-placed Tottenham Hotspur welcome Stoke City, Arsenal travel to Everton and Liverpool entertain QPR.