When R.A. Dickey floats his first knuckleball to the plate on Sunday, he'll likely have a different backstop on the receiving end.
The Blue Jays are expected to start Henry Blanco behind the plate after J.P. Arencibia committed three passed balls in the first two innings of Dickey's outing on Opening Day. Manager John Gibbons wasn't ready to say that Blanco will catch Dickey on a regular basis.
"We'll see how that goes," Gibbons said. "That won't be the only factor, but if everything is real smooth and everything goes well, I'd be crazy not to."
Arencibia's second and third passed balls in Tuesday's loss to Cleveland advanced a pair of baserunners into scoring position. Both eventually scored.
"Frustrating wouldn't be the word for it, I think it's a challenge," Arencibia said after the Blue Jays' 4-1 loss to the Indians on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre. "First thing that they told me was, 'Listen, you're going to miss balls, you're going to miss balls with guys on third base and they're going to score, and you have to put it behind you.'
"There are going to be pitches that he throws that no one could have caught unless you have a fish net that's for large fish. It's not going to be an easy ball to catch. That's the fun of catching it. I think it's a challenge, and once you're able to settle in and stuff like that, it was a lot easier."
Toronto will hope for a better showing from Dickey, who allowed four runs (three earned) and four walks in six innings against the Indians. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner will be opposed by Boston southpaw Jon Lester, who limited the Yankees to two runs on five hits in an 8-2 triumph on Monday.
Lester has compiled an 11-7 record and 3.86 ERA in 22 career starts against the Blue Jays. His 11 victories are his second most against any adversary.
Red Sox: Farrell enjoying back end of bullpen
Boston skipper John Farrell feels as though he has two closers in his bullpen. Following the offseason addition of right-hander Joel Hanrahan, former closer Andrew Bailey slid into an eighth-inning setup role.
Farrell likes what he has seen from Bailey, who was limited to only 19 appearances last season because of a right thumb injury.
"You look back to last year, missing three-plus months, that's extremely difficult to try to make up and jump back in the flow of things after you've missed that amount of time," Farrell said. "But he's pitching with a lot of confidence. You saw it grow with each outing in Spring Training. Honestly, it's a little bit of a luxury to have that kind of a pitcher in the eighth inning."
Blue Jays: Team learning to handle pressure
With vaulted expectations for the Blue Jays this season, Gibbons doesn't want his players pressing to be perfect.
"Baseball's different," Gibbons said. "It's basically a skilled game, and the harder you try, the worse it gets sometimes. In other sports, the harder you try, you can hit guys harder, you can run faster. You can do all of those things that work to your advantage. [In] baseball, it doesn't work. Your mind and emotions get in the way even though you don't necessarily see it. They all want to do good. ... Everybody wants to get off to a good start and get everybody on your side. Perform well, you get a totally different feel than if you struggle. That's just the nature of sport, big business, at this level."
• Arencibia socked his third homer of the season on Saturday. Last year, he didn't connect on his third long ball until May 9.
• Red Sox slugger Mike Napoli is batting just .130 (3-for-23) with nine strikeouts.