The second half of the baseball season couldn’t have gotten off to a better start.

The Red Sox, in the 82nd game of the 2017 season, turned in one of their best performances all season with a 15-1 pounding of the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. It was their fourth straight win, and the first sweep of the Blue Jays in a series of any length since 2011.

The first 81 games were tough to assess. The Sox were in first place at the mathematical midway point of the season, so by that measure it has been a successful first half. Yet by other measures there is room for improvement.

Yet the Sox were still near the bottom of the league in most power numbers, and are far off last season’s home-run pace. The Sox hit just 80 homers in the first 81 games of the season after hitting 208 last year. They scored 384 runs in that span, far off the pace of last year’s major league-leading 878 runs scored.

In a way, that could be good news. The Sox offense has been nowhere near its potential this season. At least not as far as power goes. That could change as some of the Sox top hitters heat up.

On Sunday, Mookie Betts gave Sox fans a jolt with a two-homer, eight-RBI game in Toronto, becoming the first Red Sox leadoff hitter in history with that many RBI. It isn’t often that your leadoff hitter is also your top home run hitter. Betts was asked if he should move deeper in the lineup to get more RBI opportunities. He said he’d like to stay right where he is.

After all, with eight RBI in one game it would seem he’s getting plenty of chances to drive in runs.

All of this came a day after a game in which Blue Jays pitchers wanted no part of pitching to him. On Saturday Betts drew a walk in each of his first three at- bats – and scored each time he walked. It’s the kind of treatment he got last year when he finished runner-up to Mike Trout in the American League MVP voting.

Batting fifth, Hanley Ramirez had a three-hit game that included his 12th home run of the year. It was his second homer in four games, the first sign of Hanley’s power coming around. He has been hitting balls a long way, and mugging for our NESN cameras in the dugout after going deep.

“Sometimes you’ve got to push yourself to the limit,” Ramirez told reporters this week. “Get fired up.” Hanley hitting for power is exactly what the Red Sox need to fire up fans over the second half of the season. There has been talk about why this team hasn’t captured the imagination of its fan base, with stories about declining ratings coming as a surprise to many.

The surprising lack of power undoubtedly has something to do with that. And a spike in that power might help recapture the imagination of New England.

We’re a week away from the All-Star break, the unofficial halftime break of the marathon baseball season. The Sox will be sending three, possibly four, players to the All-Star Game in Miami. Betts will join Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel on the AL team, and Xander Bogaerts is part of an online vote to become the final member of the roster.

It’s a reminder that the Sox still have some of the best talent in the game.

A bigger reminder is the three-game lead the Sox awoke to Monday morning, their largest of the season.

The Sox haven’t hit many home runs yet.

It’s a team that hasn’t fully resonated with fans. Yet here they are surging in the right direction midway through the year. It might be time to admit this team, built to win it all, might just be capable of doing it.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.