Lester Named Opening Day Starter; Beckett Gets Home Opener

BOSTON (CBS) –The Boston Red Sox have their opening day starter.

For the second straight year, lefty Jon Lester will get the ball on opening day, manager Bobby Valentine announced Monday morning.

Lester earned a no decision in Boston’s 2011 season opener, a 9-5 loss in Texas to the Rangers. He will be the first left-hander to start on Opening Day in back-to-back years for the Red Sox since Mel Parnell started three straight season openers from 1952-54.

So far this spring, the Sox lefty is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in two starts.

LISTEN: Bobby V On Opening Day Stater 

“I think the number one determinant was a conversation I had with Josh [Beckett], where Josh explained to me about starting pitchers and their opening day status or mentality or whatever,” Valentine explained. “He thought that Jon earned the job last year and didn’t do anything to lose it. And so I said, ‘You know, you have a lot more knowledge of opening day starters and their mentality than I.’

Valentine also announced right-hander Josh Beckett will be on the hill when the Red Sox open at home April 13 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

“I figure it’s an honor both ways, I think — home opener and opener — so they’re both getting an honor,” Valentine said.

Roche: Bard, Aceves Better For Pen 

The Red Sox open the 2012 season on April 5 in Detroit against the Tigers.

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