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RED SOX TAKE ON PIRATES THIS AFTERNOON

RED SOX TAKE ON PIRATES THIS AFTERNOON

RAPEFRUIT LEADERS: At 6-2 (.750), the Red Sox own the best record in the Grapefruit League…The club has won 6 consecutive games beginning with a split-squad sweep on Saturday, and have outscored opponents 35-18 in those games…This win streak comes after dropping the first 2 Grapefruit League games of the spring.

This 6-game stretch marks Boston’s longest Grapefruit League win streak since the club won 7 straight in 2009.

STRONG ARMS: Red Sox pitchers have given up 2 ER or fewer in 4 of the last 6 games beginning with 1 of the 2 split-squad games on Saturday. Prior to yesterday’s game, the Red Sox had gone 5 straight contests (over 4 days from 3/7-10) without a starter allowing an earned run (14.0 combined IP between Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson, Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, and Steven Wright). SOX

AND BUCS: Today’s game marks the first of three matchups between the Red Sox and Pirates this spring…The Buccos make their only trip to JetBlue Park on Saturday, and Boston returns to Bradenton a week later on 3/21. 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, officially 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.

GRAPEFRUIT ACTION: Boston is 8 games into its Grape- fruit League schedule, in which the club plays 32 major league spring training games over 31 days from 3/5-4/4. Today marks the club’s 8th 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 GL off-day on 3/25.

RIVALRY RENEWED: Yesterday the Red Sox won a 6th straight game with a 10-6 victory over the Yankees in Tam- pa…It was the first of two spring meetings between the AL East rivals, with the Yankees visiting JetBlue Park for a night game tomorrow. Travis Shaw (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) put the Sox on the board with a solo shot in the 3rd inning…Garin Cecchini (2-for-5, R, 2B, 3 RBI) also drove in 3 runs… Luke Montz contributed the club’s 2nd home run with a 2-run shot in the 8th inning…Mookie Betts led the club with 3 hits, going 3-for-4 with a double. Joe Kelly started and pitched 3.0 innings, earning the win…He gave up 2 runs, both in his final frame of work…Among the club’s 6 relievers, Edwin Escobar (1.0 IP), Craig Breslow (1.0 IP), and Mitchell Boggs (1.0 IP) did not allow runs.

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