New manager Bobby Valentine has named Jon Lester the Opening Day starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, according to the Associated Press.
Lester will start on April 5, when the Sox open their season on the road against the Detroit Tigers. Opposing him will be reigning American League MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.
This is the second time Lester has been tabbed to start Boston's opener; he also started the first game of the season last year against the Texas Rangers. Lester beats out fellow Sox hurlers Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz to win the rotation's top spot. Lester, 27, was the Red Sox' second-round pick in the 2002 draft. He's 76-34 with a 3.53 ERA and 894 strikeouts in six major league seasons.