Josh Beckett Named Starter for Sunday’s Grapefruit League Opener Against Twins

Josh Beckett Named Starter for Sunday's Grapefruit League Opener Against Twins FORT MYERS, Fla. — Josh Beckett will throw the first pitch of the Red Sox Grapefruit League schedule when he gets the start Sunday night at Hammond Stadium, the cross-town home of the Minnesota Twins.

Clay Buchholz and Brandon Duckworth will also get work in that night against the Twins, manager Terry Francona announced Tuesday in camp.

Daisuke Matsuzaka will pitch the following day when the same two teams meet at City of Palms Park at 1:05 p.m.

The two meetings with the Twins are the first of five between the two Fort Myers-based clubs, which play annually for the Mayor’s Cup. The trophy, won by the Red Sox last year, is often a subject of sarcasm, as it was when Francona announced his starters.

“It’s the Mayor’s Cup so we’re going to stack it up a little bit,” Francona joked with reporters.

Francona did not say how long any pitcher will go but it is always very limited at this stage. Beckett started the Grapefruit League opener last year, also against the Twins, and threw two innings. Seven other pitchers each went one inning.

Scheduled to go in the Saturday afternoon game with Boston College are Stolmy Pimentel, Michael Bowden and Jason Rice. Kyle Weiland gets the start that night against Northeastern, followed by Alex Wilson and Rich Hill.

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