The Boston Red Sox have had little trouble scoring runs in the opening week of the season, while a shaky bullpen has been the major reason for the Toronto Blue Jays' early struggles.
Following a come-from-behind victory in this series opener, the visiting Red Sox look to remain productive while trying to hand the Blue Jays a fourth straight defeat Saturday.
Brock Holt hit his first career grand slam and had a career-high five RBIs as Boston (2-1) rallied from five runs down to beat Toronto 8-7 on Friday. Xander Bogaerts had three hits and David Ortiz added two RBIs for the Red Sox, who have totaled six homers and 20 runs in three games.
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''(This was a) big win for us,'' said Holt, whose two homers this week matched his 2015 output in 454 at-bats. ''It showed a lot.''
The Red Sox are in position to score at least six runs in their opening four games for the first time since 1995.
"We're swinging the bat very well,'' manager John Farrell said. ''There's a lot of fight in this team.''
Holt is 6 for 12 with eight RBIs, Hanley Ramirez is 6 for 13 and Ortiz 5 for 13 with two home runs and five driven home.
While Boston's offense broke through, its relievers kept the Blue Jays (2-3) to two hits after starter Joe Kelly allowed all seven runs in three-plus innings.
Toronto's bullpen, meanwhile, failed to hold a lead for the third consecutive contest. After pitching five scoreless innings in the first two games, the Blue Jays relievers have given up eight runs and 10 hits - three homers - over 6 2-3 innings of this swoon.
''We really anticipate that's going to be one of our strengths,'' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. ''It just hasn't happened yet.''
R.A. Dickey lasted five-plus innings Monday, but was glad to prevail after yielding three runs and six hits in the 5-3 victory at Tampa Bay.
"This is my fourth year with the team and it's my first win in my opening start, so hopefully it's a sign of good things to come," the right-hander told the Blue Jays' official website.
Though Dickey went 0-3 with a 4.62 ERA in six starts against the Red Sox last season, he gave up three runs in 12 innings of the last two.
Mookie Betts is 0 for 10 in the last two games but was 6 for 17 with two triples against Dickey in 2015.
Limited to the designated hitter role because of a calf issue, Toronto's Josh Donaldson clubbed a grand slam to highlight a six-run fourth inning. Three of his five hits in 21 at-bats have left the park.
Donaldson went 5 for 12 with a home run in 2015 against Boston's Rick Porcello, who looks for a better season after going 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA in 28 start. The right-hander was 2-2 with a 6.45 ERA against the Blue Jays.
"He's capable of better," Farrell told the team's official website. "He has shown that."
Porcello didn't help his cause by going 0-2 with a 9.77 ERA in four spring training starts.
"The numbers are what they are but at this point in my career it's about getting prepared and doing what I have to do to set myself up to have a quality season for us," Porcello said.
Troy Tulowitzki is 2 for 17 with nine strikeouts, and 1 for 7 against Porcello.