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Lackey will open Grapefruit League season Saturday


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When the Red Sox open their Grapefruit League schedule Saturday afternoon at 1:35 ET on MLB.TV at home against the Rays, John Lackey -- who didn't throw a pitch in 2012 -- will be first out of the gate.

It is just another sign of how well Lackey has progressed from Tommy John surgery. Due to the time missed, he will pitch just one inning on Saturday and then ramp up from there.

"He'll be on a five-day rotation from there, and continue to add 15-18 pitches per outing or one additional inning," said manager John Farrell. "It starts on Saturday."

Jon Lester will make his Spring Training debut on Sunday in Jupiter against the Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. Rubby De La Rosa will also pitch in that game, as will key bullpen members Joel Hanrahan, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Bailey and Andrew Miller.

The Red Sox will split up on Monday, with half of the squad going to Port Charlotte to face the Rays, while the other group will play in Dunedin against the Blue Jays. Both games are at 1:05 p.m.

Alfredo Aceves and Daniel Bard are among those who will face the Rays. Under the watchful eye of Tim Wakefield, knuckleballer Steven Wright will start against Toronto.

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