Toronto manager John Gibbons said before Wednesday night's game that his team was a lot like the Boston Red Sox.
"We've got to hit to win," he said referring to both teams' inconsistent starting pitching.
The Blue Jays' bats were then quieted by seven sharp innings from Rick Porcello in a 4-1 loss.
"Sometimes, believe it or not in this game, you've got to give credit to the other side," Gibbons said after Porcello held them to two hits and one run.
"It goes both ways. I mean, it's simple. When they're good, they're good," Gibbons said. "Runs are going to be hard to come by sometimes. The long ball was the difference tonight."
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (0-3) allowed four runs and nine hits, striking out four without walking a batter in seven innings. He was 4-0 against Boston last season.
Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer, and David Ortiz and Mookie Betts had RBI singles for the Red Sox, who took the three-game series after losing their previous two.
"Yeah, it just didn't move," Dickey said of the knuckler that Ramirez hit out. "You have to surrender to the outcome once you let it go."
Porcello (2-2) held the Blue Jays down one night after they put up 17 hits in an 11-8 win. He struck out six and walked two in his best effort since joining the Red Sox.
"I think we're all going out there trying to pitch our game," Porcello said. "Obviously we've had some struggles, but they're all behind us."
Boston's starters entered with a 6.03 ERA, highest in the majors.
Koji Uehara struck out all three batters in the ninth for his fourth save.
Trailing 1-0, the Red Sox took the lead with three runs in the third. Ortiz hit his RBI single before Ramirez followed with his 10th homer, a drive into the last row of Green Monster seats.
The Blue Jays had taken a 1-0 lead in the first. Kevin Pillar doubled and scored on a strange play when Josh Thole lined to left with the bases loaded, but Michael Saunders was forced out at third.
Porcello walked the first batter of the game, then struck out the next three.
Ramirez tied Ortiz for the club record for homers before May 1. Ortiz did it in 2006 when he finished with a career-best 54. He also tied the best start of his career for homers before May 1. He did it with the Marlins in 2008.
Farrell challenged when Xander Bogaerts was cut down at the plate by a throw from RF Saunders, claiming C Thole blocked the plate. After using the headsets for a bit, two of the umpires left the field before the call was confirmed. The delay lasted just over 6 minutes.
Blue Jays: Jose Bautista played his third straight game at DH. He's still unable to throw well enough to play the field after missing five games with a strained right shoulder.
Red Sox: 1B Mike Napoli was back in the lineup after missing two games while he was sick.
The Blue Jays head into Cleveland for the first time this year to play a four-game set against the Indians.
The series will conclude a 10-game trip for the Jays, who return home to kick off an important six-game homestand against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
The Blue Jays won both of their series against the Tribe last season.
While the Blue Jays have been struggling, things have been worse for the Indians, who many feel have World Series potential this season but will be dragging an American League-worst record into their tilt against Toronto.
Rookie Daniel Norris will be on the mound for Toronto in Thursday's opener, looking for a second consecutive quality start.
On Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla., against the Tampa Bay Rays, the left-hander pitched into the seventh inning for the first time and left with a 2-1 lead.
The bullpen could not hold up its end, however, and Norris wound up with a no-decision in a 4-2 Tampa Bay victory.
All games at Progressive Field.
Thursday, 7:10 p.m. (ET): Cleveland LHP T.J. House (0-3, 12.60) vs. Toronto LHP Daniel Norris (1-1, 4.43).
Friday, 7:10 p.m. (ET): Cleveland RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 4.60) vs. Toronto LHP Mark Buehrle (3-1, 4.94).
Saturday, 4:10 p.m. (ET): Cleveland RHP Corey Kluber (0-3, 4.24) vs. Toronto RHP Aaron Sanchez (1-2, 5.03).
Sunday, 1:10 p.m. (ET): Cleveland RHP Trevor Bauer (2-0, 1.80) vs. Toronto RHP Drew Hutchison (2-0, 6.67).
With files from Robert MacLeod