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STATE OF THE SOX: The Red Sox were off yesterday after completing a 2-game sweep of the Reds by identical 4-3 scores Wed. night (12 innings) and Thurs. night in Boston…It was the Sox’ 1st sweep since they took 3 against the Yankees at Fenway Park from 9/13-15.

· A win tonight would give the Red Sox their 1st win streak longer than 2 games this season.

· The Sox are coming off their 1st winning homestand of the season (5-3)…The lost their first 2 homestands of the season by a combined 5-8 record.

· Wednesday night’s win put the Red Sox at .500 for the 1st time since they were 2-2 following play on 4/4…Before Wednesday night, the Sox had lost 8 consecutive chances to return to .500.

RECENT SUCCESS: The Red Sox have won 4 of their last 5, 7 of their last 11, and 10 of their last 17 beginning on 4/19.

· Boston’s 12-8 record (.500) starting on 4/16 ranks 3rd best in the AL behind DET (14-6, .700) and BAL (12-7, .632)…That followed a 5-9 start to the season.

HITTING THE ROAD: The Red Sox have played just 13 road games in 2014 (7-6), 2nd fewest in the AL to DET (12)…Boston is outscoring opponents 48-44 away from home.

· The club has the 3rd-worst road AVG among AL teams (.225) but the 3rd-best road ERA in the AL (3.01)…Sox relievers have a 1.95 ERA (7 ER) with 35 strikeouts in 32.1 innings on the road this season.

· Boston has won 4 of its last 5 road games, totaling 25 runs in those contests, following a 3-5 start to the road schedule in which the club totaled 23 runs.

COMING HOME: 2 of Boston’s 3 starting pitchers during this series are from Texas…Tonight’s starter Clay Buchholz grew up in Lumberton, TX…John Lackey, from Abeline, TX, will make his 20th career start at Globe Life Park, passing Felix Hernandez (19) for the most all-time as a visitor here.

· Will Middlebrooks, from Texarkana, TX, has hit .346 (9-for-26) with a double and 3 homers in 9 career games against the Rangers.

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