Beckett will be the starter when the Red Sox take on the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium. Buchholz is expected to be the first pitcher out of the bullpen, followed by Brandon Duckworth, Hideki Okajima, Scott Atchison and Dan Wheeler.
It was about this time last year when Beckett's difficult campaign began. He came down with an illness during spring training, missed some time and then entered the regular season still trying to find his strength.
Perhaps because of that scenario, Beckett was not quite right out of the gate and ended up hurting his back in May, which caused him to miss two months. He was just 1-1 with a 7.29 ERA when he was put on the shelf.
Buchholz, meanwhile, was just hitting his stride at that point. The day after Beckett was lost with the back injury, Buchholz threw eight solid innings to beat the Twins in Fenway Park. Including that game, he would go 13-4 with a 1.98 ERA through the remainder of the year.
Interestingly enough, Buchholz also had a rocky spring training in 2010, including a horrendous outing in Hammond Stadium in which he gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox were able to get their feet wet in Saturday's doubleheader sweep of Boston College and Northeastern. Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron all returned to the field after having their 2010 seasons cut short to injury. Youkilis was the standout, making a great defensive play early in the BC game and then slugging a three-run homer.
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