John Lackey still feels as if he is building arm strength.

If that is the case, then giving up four runs in six innings was a building block for better things to come. On a day when his offense gave him breathing room the size of Michael Phelps' lungs in a 16-4 Red Sox victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, Lackey (4-5) could look on the bright side after posting back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

"I felt good, I felt like it was a step forward," Lackey said. "I'm still building arm strength. Guys swung the bats pretty good, made it pretty easy on me."

The last time Lackey pitched at Rogers Centre against the Blue Jays, on May 11, he wound up on the disabled list afterward. The right-hander was upset about a lot of things following a start in which he allowed nine runs on nine hits in 62/3 innings, when he vented about how nothing was going well in his life.

Everything seemed better yesterday.

"I'm definitely trying to change some patterns and some sequences with pitches, for sure," Lackey said about his approach to the Blue Jays lineup. "That's not something I'm going to get into."

Toronto did get to Lackey for a two-run double by Rajai Davis in the fourth inning and a two-run homer by Edwin Encarnacion in the sixth. Lackey finished with 112 pitches thrown, 19 more than in his previous start.