ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Boston will go with starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka against Tampa's James Shields in Friday's first game of the American League Championship series.
Boston Manager Terry Francona on Wednesday named Matsuzaka to open the best-of-seven series against the Tampa Bay Rays. He said Josh Beckett would start Game 2 with Jon Lester set for the third game and Tim Wakefield for Game 4.
Tampa Rays Manager Joe Maddon said he would counter with Shields, who earned the win in Game 1 of the AL Division Series against Chicago. The rest of Maddon's rotation will also be the same as the series against the White Sox with Scott Kazmir set for Game 2 followed by Matt Garza and Andy Sonnanstine.
Matsuzaka was 18-3 with a 2.90 earned run average in the regular season and was 9-0 on the road. He appeared in one game of the Division Series against Los Angeles, giving up three runs and eight hits over five innings but wasn't involved in the decision.
Shields was 14-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 2008. He collected the win in ALDS Game 1, giving up three runs over 6 1/3 innings.