Matsuzaka to Start Season-Opener for the Red Sox

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka will start the regular-season opener for the Boston Red Sox against the Oakland Athletics in Toyko on March 25 -- six days from today.

Jon Lester will pitch the second game of the two-game series on March 26.

Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield will be on the hill for exhibition games in Japan prior to the regular-season contests.

Matsuzaka was scheduled to return to camp Monday after missing the previous two days following the birth of his son Saturday.

Right-hander Josh Beckett , who will not travel to Japan because of a back injury, threw from 120 feet Monday. Beckett could pitch in minor league games in Florida. It's not known when he will make his first regular-season start.

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