Mark Buehrle's numbers in four starts this season are staggering.
It's not just his 4-0 record or 0.64 ERA. The Blue Jays left-hander has allowed two runs in 28 innings pitched, while striking out 19 and walking only five batters.
"He's just locked in right now," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He even admitted in Spring Training he hadn't felt this good in a long time, but he competes, he's a great competitor. One thing about Buehrle is he pitches to win, he doesn't pitch for stats. You get guys in this game who pitch for stats. He pitches to win, and you need more guys like that."
Buehrle will look to keep up that pace on Friday as the Red Sox come to town to begin a three-game series at Rogers Centre.
Jake Peavy, who's had plenty of success against the Blue Jays, will get the nod for Boston. He's worked at least six innings and allowed two earned runs or less in each of his last five starts against Toronto.
Peavy's yet to tally a victory this season even though he's had three quality starts in four outings. His last start on Sunday against the Orioles was his roughest one so far this year. He allowed five runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings for the no-decision.
This time around, the Red Sox need a strong performance from the right-hander. Over the past four games, the Boston bullpen has thrown 14 1/3 innings.
"It's got to be led by our starters. That's where, to me, any continuity and consistency can originate from, it's that group," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "That's not to place added pressure on them. That's just to say, in past years, in situations or stretches of games where you see it like this, it has to come from the starting rotation to set the tone."
Red Sox: Victorino back in lineup
The Red Sox activated outfielder Shane Victorino from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday and optioned reliever Alex Wilson to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Victorino missed the first 22 games of the season with a right hamstring strain.
"This is something we have been waiting for. Shane's return will help solidify our outfield defense and also the top of the order. It is good to have him back in the lineup," said Farrell.
Playing right field and batting second in Thursday's game, Victorino went 1-for-5 with a double.
Blue Jays: Six-man rotation possible
Toronto is considering using a six-man rotation in May, Gibbons said on Thursday.
The team has four consecutive Mondays off in April, but it plays 20 straight games from April 29 to May 18.
J.A. Happ could make a spot start to make sure that the arms of Dustin McGowan, Brandon Morrrow and Drew Hutchison aren't overworked, Gibbons said.
"Maybe Happ, or something," Gibbons said. "We've talked about doing that; whether it happens or not I don't know. We could do it against Philadelphia. That way it bumps everyone back a day for the sake of the others guys. We haven't committed to it yet, but we've talked about it."
• The American flag jacket that Jonny Gomes wore to the White House earlier this month, which has been autographed by the 2014 Red Sox team, is now up for auction at auctions.mlb.com. The majority of the proceeds will benefit the Travis Roy Foundation.
• Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli has reached base safely in a career-high 19 consecutive games. During the streak, he's batting .301 with four home runs and 10 RBIs.
• When the Blue Jays score first this season, they are 9-2.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.