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THE SPRING SLATE: Today Boston plays its 18th of 32 major league spring training games in a span of 31 days from 3/5-4/4…The club began its exhibition season with a doubleheader sweep of Boston College and Northeastern University on 3/3. Today marks the club’s 17th day into a span of 21 contests in the first 20 days of Grapefruit League action, which began 3/5…This stretch continues until the team’s only Grapefruit League off-day on Wednesday.

GRAPEFRUIT STAND: The Red Sox are 9-8 (.529) in Grapefruit League play, having lost 2 straight games and 3 of their last 4. Boston has won 9 of its last 15 contests beginning with a 7-game winning streak over 6 days from 3/7- 12…It was Boston’s longest spring training win streak since a 7-gamer in 2009…The club last produced a longer win streak in spring training with a 9-game tear in 1981 (Source: Bill Nowlin – SABR).

SOX AND BUCS: Today’s game marks the last of 3 match- ups between the Red Sox and Pirates this spring, with the series tied 1-1…The Sox won 5-1 in Bradenton on 3/12 and dropped a 5-2 decision on 3/14 at JetBlue Park. These clubs do not meet during the 2015 regular season…The Sox were swept their only series of 2014, a 3-game series in Pittsburgh from 9/16-18, and trail the all-time Interleague series, 5-7. The 1903 Boston club, offi cially known as the Americans, faced the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first ever World Series and won the best-of-nine series, 5-games-to-3.

YESTERDAY’S NEWS: The Red Sox dropped an 11-6 deci- sion to the Orioles yesterday in Lee County…Boston was leading 5-3 before the Orioles scored 6 runs in the 8th and 2 more in the 9th…It was the last of two spring contests against the Orioles, with Boston winning 7-6 in split-squad action on 3/7 in Sarasota. Hanley Ramirez had Boston’s only multi-hit effort, going 2-for-3 with an RBI single to put Boston on the board in the 6th inning…Rusney Castillo launched a go-ahead 3-run homer in the 7th inning, his first PA of the spring, for the Sox’ sole extra-base hit. Justin Masterson started and allowed 1 run in 4.0 innings…Tommy Layne followed with a scoreless inning, but Felipe Paulino (1 R, 1.0 IP), Brandon Workman (1 R, 1.0 IP), Mitchell Boggs (L, 3 R, 0.0 IP), Zeke Spruill (3 R, 1.0 IP), and Mike McCarthy (2 R, 0.1 IP) all gave up runs in relief. FROM THE BACK FIELDS: Yesterday Alexi Ogando start- ed the Red Sox’ Triple-A game against Orioles farmhands at the Fenway South Player Development Complex (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 16 pitches/10 strikes).

ROSTER CUTS: Yesterday the Red Sox optioned LHP Edu- ardo Rodriguez and C Blake Swihart to Triple-A Pawtucket… Boston now has 49 players in big league camp (13 invitees).

IT CAN HAPPEN AGAIN: In 2015, the Red Sox will at- tempt to repeat their worst-to-first championship run of 2013…That year, the Red Sox joined the 1991 Twins as the only teams ever to win a World Series one season after fin- ishing in last place. In fact, the last six World Series Champions missed the playoffs the previous year, including the 2014 Giants, 2013 Red Sox, 2012 Giants, 2011 Cardinals, 2010 Giants, and 2009 Yankees…In addition, the 2008 Rays made it to the postseason after a 66-96 finish in 2007 (Credit: Elias Sports Bureau).

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