They’ll pack their lucky luggage, pull blankets from the overhead compartment and perhaps plan ways to fill their free time in Denver and San Francisco.
It’s a pattern that may get old over the next two months — Boston plays 32 of its next 48 games away from Fenway Park, including two 10-game stretches without a day off, as well as visits to its three closest competitors in the airtight American League East.
Such a daunting slate, filled with potential potholes, makes taking care of business at home that much more crucial. Or so you would think.
"It’s what the schedule says," manager Terry Francona said after the Sox finished an 8-1 homestand Sunday with a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. "I don’t know that I ever really thought about it. We just go where they tell us."
Francona did admit to some excitement over the first two opponents, the Rockies and the Giants, who feature some excellent arms.
On Wednesday, Colorado will start Ubaldo Jimenez, who, at 13-1 with a 1.15 ERA, is having a Bob Gibson-like season rarely seen this day and age, much less at Coors Field.
Two games in San Francisco will showcase two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum and rising lefty Jonathan Sanchez, who are a combined 12-7 with a 2.95 ERA.
"We only get a chance to see those guys on TV so it’ll be fun competing against them," said Dustin Pedroia, who raised his interleague average to .359 (90-for-251) with a 3-for-4 performance Sunday. "What a year [Jimenez] is having. Thirteen and one, like a zero-something ERA. That’s pretty cool. It should be fun to get a chance to face them."
Not only will the Red Sox’ lineup be challenged on the trip, it will be forced to prove that the club’s eye-popping offensive numbers can translate over the course of the next several weeks, when unfamiliar territories replace the friendly confines of Fenway Park.
After Sunday’s victory, Boston had played 41 home games (26-15), more than any major league team and five more than anyone else in the AL. They started just 1-6 at Fenway, but have crushed visitors of late with a relentless offensive attack at home.
Including Sunday, Boston leads the majors in runs scored (390), hits (689), doubles (174) and slugging percentage (.468), and all of those categories have received major boosts on homestands like the one the club just finished, which saw the Sox average 6.4 runs per game.
Many of the numbers take a considerable dive on the road, where the team’s batting average drops nearly 30 points and its slugging percentage by 40.
That’s not to say the Sox have not hit well on the road, but when two-thirds of the games over a two-month stretch are away from home, they will be challenged to maintain such a torrid pace.
"We’re playing good but we just gotta continue swinging the bats great," Pedroia said. "We’re pitching great. We’re going to Colorado and we’re facing some tough pitching so we gotta continue to swing the bats well."