They left by boat rather than plane as planned, but the 35-23 Red Sox also escaped from New York looking as good as they ever have this season.

They are three games ahead of the Yankees atop the AL East standings after winning this series.

Their best pitcher, Clay Buchholz, is perfectly fine health-wise and nearly perfect pitching-wise.

In Jose Iglesias, they have a shortstop playing third base who is forcing his way into permanent-fixture status on the big league roster.

And after a worrisome 2-9 stretch in early May, the team has rebounded to go 13-6 since the middle of May.

Up and down the lineup, throughout the rotation and in the bullpen, 25 players and pitchers are starting to produce results that they and fans have been looking for on a consistent basis.

We’re well past the small sample size days of a hot April.

It’s June. The timing is right. It’s OK to say it.

This is a good Red Sox team. It could be pretty good, too.

“In addition to the number of guys that we’ve had to go to because of some injuries, a couple spot starts, I think it speaks to the depth and guys staying prepared to step in when called upon,” manager John Farrell said after the 3-0 rain-shortened, 51⁄2-inning victory that counted as a complete-game shutout for Buchholz (two hits, one walk allowed). “Those kind of contributions across the board will allow us to continue to put together a solid year so far.”

Ortiz, whose leadoff homer in the sixth was a towering shot into the right field bleachers, put the team effort into the only context that counts.