FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jon Lester has been chosen to start Monday on opening day for the Boston Red Sox against the Orioles at Baltimore, Manager John Farrell announced Thursday.

The news came as no surprise, but Farrell had waited to make an announcement.

“I know, it’s earth-shattering,” he said.

It will be Lester’s fourth consecutive opening-day start, the fifth-longest streak in team history behind Pedro Martinez (seven), Roger Clemens (seven), Dennis Eckersley (five) and Cy Young (five).

Lester went 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 33 starts and 2131/3 innings last year, helping the Red Sox to their third World Series championship in 10 years. He is 100-56 with a 3.76 ERA in eight seasons with Boston.

“He has become a very good pitcher at a young age,” Farrell said. “For a guy that has made that number of starts for a franchise as storied as this, it speaks volumes.”


John Lackey pitched six scoreless innings, Will Middlebrooks had two extra-base hits and Boston beat Minnesota 4-1 at Fort Myers, Fla.

Lackey, the team’s No. 2 starter, gave up four hits with a walk and six strikeouts in his final tuneup for the regular season.

Middlebrooks went 2 for 3 with a double and a triple. He drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the seventh and is batting .362 this spring (17 for 47).

Designated hitter David Ortiz went 0 for 2 with a strikeout, dropping his average to .054 (2 for 37) with 13 strikeouts.

Left-hander Craig Breslow was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a mild left shoulder strain, and right-hander Steven Wright was placed on the 15-day disabled list while recovering from right sports hernia surgery. 

TIGERS: A person with knowledge of the deal said Detroit agreed to pay Miguel Cabrera a baseball record $292 million over the next 10 years.


TWINS: Left-hander Scott Diamond and outfielder Chris Parmelee were outrighted to Triple-A Rochester, ensuring that veteran Jason Bartlett will make the team out of spring training.

MARINERS: Seattle signed right-handed starter Chris Young to a major league deal in the hopes of solidifying the back end of the rotation.

NATIONALS: Right-hander Doug Fister left a minor league start after one inning with a strain of a muscle on the right side of his back and may not be able to take his first turn in the rotation April 6.

Jordan Zimmermann allowed four hits in five scoreless innings and also had a RBI infield single, helping Washington beat the New York Mets 4-0 at Port St. Lucie, Fla., in the final Florida spring-training game for both teams.

CUBS: Third baseman Mike Olt and outfielder Ryan Kalish made the opening-day roster.

Travis Wood pitched three scoreless innings, Ryan Sweeney homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3 at Mesa, Ariz.


DIAMONDBACKS: Arizona assigned a top pitching prospect, Archie Bradley, to its minor league camp.

REDS: Johnny Cueto was set to start on opening day for the third straight season.

Jason Bourgeois had a double and a home run, and drove in two runs as a Cincinnati split squad beat Milwaukee 8-2 at Phoenix.

Tony Cingrani pitched seven solid innings, Billy Hamilton hit two triples, and Cincinnati topped Arizona 9-1 in a split-squad game at Goodyear, Ariz.

PIRATES: Left fielder Starling Marte and the team completed a $31 million, six-year contract.

RAYS: Evan Longoria homered and Alex Cobb pitched four innings in his final spring-training tuneup to lead Tampa Bay over Baltimore 4-3 at Sarasota, Fla.


CARDINALS: Michael Wacha looked sharp in his final spring start, giving up a run in five innings of a 6-4 loss to Miami at Jupiter, Fla.

BLUE JAYS: Drew Hutchison gave up one hit in 51/3 scoreless innings, leading Toronto past Philadelphia 3-0 at Clearwater, Fla.

BRAVES: Aaron Harang made his Atlanta debut, allowing six runs, including a long homer to Miguel Cabrera while pitching into the sixth inning of a 9-3 loss to Detroit at Lakeland, Fla.

YANKEES: CC Sabathia pitched four scoreless innings in his final tuneup for opening day, a 4-2 victory over Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla.

TONY CLARK was confirmed as the new head of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

INDIANS: Corey Kluber, the No. 2 starter in the rotation, allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings in a 3-2 victory against an Arizona split squad at Scottsdale, Ariz.

ASTROS: Houston claimed outfielder Alex Presley off waivers from Minnesota.

MARLINS: Pitcher Henry Rodriguez was reassigned to minor league camp.

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