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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cleaning Up in the West, Red Sox Hit Their Stride

BOSTON, Massachusetts -- If the Boston Red Sox had returned to ancient Rome instead of Fenway Park, the triumphal arch might already be under construction. And why not? The Red Sox opened their shortest homestand of the season with a victory -- the first of two games against the Seattle Mariners -- with the scent of their 5-2 West Coast trip still lingering, including a 10-1 rout of the California Angels Sunday night. It may have looked bad when the Red Sox, 2-6 on their first West Coast trip in 1993, lost the first two games in Seattle, but they rebounded with five consecutive victories against the Oakland Athletics (8-17) and the Angels (9-17). The result was the Red Sox's best record in April (17-7) and the best record in baseball (18-7). "I can't say any more about this team," manager Butch Hobson said. "I'm proud of the way they play from the heart." They are also starting to attract converts. "This Red Sox club is a good ballclub," Angels manager Buck Rodgers said. "They're making a believer out of me." The Red Sox's objective now is to avert the catastrophe of last season, when they started 11-3 before a 19-35 run left them tied for fifth place June 20. Few would bet on a repeat