Red Sox enjoying life on the road

Pedroia and Napoli have led the Red Sox
to a MLB-best 9-3 road record.
Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

Every team, no matter the sport, loves playing in front of its adoring fans. There’s something about the home-field advantage that fuels the home team. You have the familiarity with the field or court. The fans are in the game at the moments when you need them. There really is no place like home.

However, there are teams that absolutely thrive when playing in front of the opposing fans.

Count the 2013 Red Sox as one of those teams. It’s only been four road series so far, but Boston is having major success away from home.

The Red Sox head into this weekend’s series in Texas with the best record in MLB at 20-8. Following a 3-1 win Thursday and taking two of three in Toronto, they are now sporting a 9-3 road record. Boston has won all four road series, including a sweep in Cleveland.

That bodes well for a team that plays 17 of 30 games on the road in the month of May. With their two wins in Toronto, the Sox are already off to a 2-0 start.

Boston is averaging scoring 6.42 runs per game on the road and giving up an average of just 3 runs, outscoring their home hosts 77-36.

“It’s huge, especially in an environment like this (against) a good team,” catcher David Ross said after Thursday’s win against the Blue Jays. “Credit our pitching. They did a good job of keeping those guys off balance and throwing strikes when they had to.”

Things get tougher immediately, as the Red Sox face quality pitching in the Rangers series. The projected starters for Texas are Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando and Yu Darvish. Darvish is 5-1 and having a Cy Young-esque season. All three starters have an ERA under 3.50, with Darvish leading Texas staff at 2.33.

The Sox will hit the road for a nine-game road trip to Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Chicago (AL) in the middle of May. Boston closes the month with two games in Philadelphia before starting their second series in the Bronx against the Yankees.

If the Red Sox want to continue their road dominance, they will need their starting pitching to keep putting up quality starts. Likewise, the offense has to continue to pile on the runs early and often. Jumping on a team early before their pitcher gets settled in is crucial and the Red Sox have put together a solid approach at the plate as a whole. In their nine road wins, the Sox have scored a combined 32 runs in the first three innings.

That kind of pressure early puts your opposition on an uphill climb the rest of the game and allows your starter to attack hitters. It’s a recipe for success and even though they are the guests, the Red Sox are doing the cooking.

“We’ve got a lotta good guys that grind at-bats and don’t give any at-bats away,” said Ross. “It’s just a good fun team. It’s a lot of fun winning and we’ve got a lot of guys that make it fun to win.”

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