Price named Opening Day starter

Ace says 'It's always an honor to throw in that first game'

Price named Opening Day starter

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- There is no question who the ace of the Red Sox is this season, and manager John Farrell made it official that left-hander David Price will be his starter for Opening Day in Cleveland on Monday.

Right-hander Clay Buchholz will get the nod for Game 2 on April 6, following an off-day. Farrell said that righties Rick Porcello, Joe Kelly and likely No. 5 starter Steven Wright are still jockeying for position.

The Red Sox signed Price to a seven-year, $217 million contract on Dec. 4 in a huge development for a team that didn't have a true ace in 2015.

This will be Price's fifth career start on Opening Day and the fourth straight. The Red Sox are the third team Price will pitch an opener for in the last three seasons.

"It's always an honor to throw in that first game, so I'm looking forward to getting out there in Cleveland and trying to go in the right direction," Price said. "I did it last year with a new team as well. It's just going out there and throwing the baseball the way I know I can throw it."

Price split last season between the Tigers and Blue Jays and led the American League with a 2.45 ERA.

Buchholz, who turned in a magnificent performance on Opening Day last year in Philadelphia, is happy to pass that honor on to his new teammate.

"That's why they signed him," said Buchholz. "I don't think there's anybody on this team or on the staff that thought any different about the reason that he's here. That's what the top guy in the rotation does. He goes out and starts the first game and gets us moving in the right direction."

By pitching the second game in Cleveland, Buchholz is lined up to pitch the Fenway Park opener on April 11 against the Orioles.

"It's a good day," said Buchholz. "I've gotten the opportunity to do that a couple of times over the last couple of years. Fenway is a special place and everyone's mouth is watering for baseball once we get there. It's a cool place to watch any baseball game there, so it's neat to pitch the first game."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.