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Farrell: Health key to Boston's fortunes

Farrell: Health key to Boston's fortunes

OAKLAND -- Manager John Farrell's breakdown of Boston's current success and future prospects revolve primarily around his team's health.

Aside from Boston's Major League-leading 58 wins -- the most ever by the team before the All-Star break -- Farrell has been most pleased with the team's ability to respond to injury.

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"The overall depth, without question," Farrell said. "I think we're at 42 players and counting, and when you consider those additional 17 above and beyond the 25 who we began the season with, there's a number of situations where guys have contributed, whether it's been more regularly or a one-time outing like in Steven Wright's case."

A win in Sunday's series finale would give the Red Sox 20 series wins before the break to match the total number of series won in all of 2012. Boston entered Sunday tops in the Majors with 496 runs scored and a .351 on-base percentage, and its pitchers had already fanned 811 batters this season, over 100 more than the previous club record before the break.

That should seemingly continue with the team's health intact, which Farrell said is his biggest concern after the midseason reprieve.

"We've got a number of guys who play the game hard and are going to suffer some situations or ailments that they're managing and dealing with," Farrell said.

And as far as being in first place in his first year as manager?

"It's the All-Star break, and there's a lot more games left to be played," he said. "We have a tough schedule ahead of us. We've got probably more than half of the games we play against teams with above-.500 records.

"Our challenge is don't become any less. We're going to get back into our division. It's deep, strong. And we're looking forward to getting off the West Coast, I can tell you that, and looking forward to getting back to Fenway Park and playing a lot of games there."

Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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