Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox got a run-saving running catch in the outfield from J.D. Martinez in the first inning and an even more important three-run homer from in the top of the fifth to power themselves to a 5-4 victory at Rogers Centre on Thursday night.

With a 2-for-4 night, the early-season slow start seems officially behind Martinez is now up to a .306 batting average with five homers and 18 runs batted in this season.

“You know, even when he’s struggling, you think he’s one adjustment away to do damage,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Martinez. “He works so hard at it, he comes back and he goes to the tee and he goes to the cage and he watches video and he’s always one adjustment away to change the game.”

Boston ace Chris Sale earned his second win of the season, meanwhile, surrendering four hits (two home runs) and tallying four strikeouts in six innings of work.

The effort also made the Sox’ nine-game road swing a success, with wins in all but three of their nine games, and pushed the Sox to an MLB-best 19-5 on the season.

The Red Sox return home and kickoff a six-game homestand Friday night against the Rays.