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First-place stretch a first in Red Sox history

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BOSTON -- The Red Sox have had better starts than the 15-7 record they took into Friday night's game against the Astros. Still, the opening to the season is history-making.

According to research from the Red Sox public relations department, this marks the first time in team history Boston has been in first place for the first 26 days of the season.

Manager John Farrell is trying to take the fast start in stride, hoping the team will continue the approach that has led to it.

"You prepare for all of Spring Training trying to get off to a good start," Farrell said. "I don't know that you look at place in the standings as the goal. You look at every area of the game and every area of your team how you can best prepare it and make adjustments where needed.

"I think the fact that we have played good baseball certainly breeds the overall confidence of the group that's downstairs. I think in every phase of the game we've been able to do some things well and we've been very consistent when you look at what we've been able to do from the mound and certainly defensively.

"I don't want to undersell the importance of a good start, but I don't know that you start to target number of wins or place in the standings. Those are a byproduct of what you can control in the other areas of the game."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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