BOSTON (CBS) — In a move nearly all Red Sox fans saw coming, Red Sox manager John Farrell has named Jon Lester the team’s opening day starter.

“And the earth is round,” Farrell joked with reporters ahead of Boston’s exhibition game against the Twins.

Monday’s opening day start in Baltimore will be the fourth in a row for Lester, the most by a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez was tabbed with the opening day start for seven straight seasons from 1998-2004. With the start, the 30-year-old Lester will become the first Red Sox left-hander to start four consecutive opening day games.

In his three opening day trips to the mound, Lester is 1-0 with a 4.21 ERA. He picked up his first opening day win last season, tossing five innings of two-run ball and striking out seven New York Yankees to get Boston starting on a winning note.

Lester was 18-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 33 regular season starts last season, going 4-1 with a 1.56 ERA in five postseason starts.

Farrell also announced on Thursday that if Grady Sizemore makes the major league roster, he would bat in the middle of the order and not in the leadoff spot like many had speculated.



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