BOSTON (CBS) – Jon Lester has been named the Red Sox opening day starter for the third straight season.
Manager John Farrell announced his starting rotation on Wednesday, with Lester kicking it all off April 1 in New York against the Yankees.
Clay Buchholz, Ryan Dempster, Felix Doubront and John Lackey will follow Lester, who is the first Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez to start three straight opening day games.
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The Sox lefty is 0-0 in his two previous opening day starts, allowing a run over seven innings last year against the Detroit Tigers and five runs over 5.1 innings of work two years ago in Texas. The Red Sox lost both of those opening day games.
Lester is coming off his worst season in the majors, going 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA in 33 starts. He looked poised to turn it around this spring though, going 3-0 in five starts, allowing just six hits and two earned runs while striking out 16 over 20 innings.
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Buchholz’s spring was just as stellar as Lester’s, with the righty going 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA in five starts.
Lester, Buchholz and Dempster will all pitch against the Yankees in the Bronx, with Doubront, Lackey and Lester scheduled to pitch in Boston’s second series of the season against the new-look Blue Jays in Toronto.