Terry Francona Happy to Unpack His Suitcase As Red Sox Return Home for Nine-Game Homestand

BOSTON — Six games in eight days on the road. Three games in two days at home. Eight games in eight days on the road.

The Red Sox have been living out of their luggage lately, with their only home games in the past 18 days coming in that two-day, three-game series against Tampa Bay last week. Although Hurricane Irene has forced the team to shuffle its schedule this weekend against Oakland, the simple fact that there are no road games in the immediate future is a blessing.

"I'm hoping it will be terrific," manager Terry Francona said when asked about the team's nine-game homestand. "Last time we were here it was almost like the continuation of a road trip. We were here for 24 hours, or whatever, for three games. It was almost more of a hindrance."

The Red Sox looked lifeless in that three-game series, although Tampa Bay's pitching had a lot to do with it. However, they've continued to flourish on the road, where their 42 wins away from home are three more than any other team in baseball.

Boston won six of eight games in Kansas City and Texas on the most recent trip, outscoring the Rangers 30-7 in the final three wins. Still, just being able to rest one's head on a pillow not owned by a hotel chain means so much.

"It'll be nice to kind of unpack for a little while," Francona said. "It's been a long time."

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