Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine announced today that Jon Lester would start on Opening Day against Detroit on April 5.
Lester will face defending American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander in the 1:05 p.m. game.
Josh Beckett will start the home opener against the Rays on April 13.
Valentine understands that for the starters, the Opening Day assignment is a big deal.
"It's a nice thing to plan and do," the manager said "I talked to the guy [Beckett] with the most experience and he brought it up in the conversation, so it's obviously a topic."
That Beckett backed Lester for the assignment made it easy for Valentine to decide.
"It was great information. It was like, 'Gosh, I'm glad I don't have to now worry about this throughout spring training and all that stuff.' Maybe I was surprised. Pleasantly surprised," Valentine said.