Opening notes: The Shesta files

March, 31, 2014
Mar 31
2:19
PM ET
BALTIMORE -- A few facts about Opening Day, courtesy of Red Sox information guru Jon Shestakofsky:

* The Sox have won four of their last six openers, but had lost two straight before beating the Yankees 8-2 in New York last April.

* This is the 16th time in the last 19 seasons the Sox have opened on the road. They are 7-8 in those games.

* Jon Lester will be making his fourth Opening Day start, most ever by a Sox lefty, passing both Babe Ruth and Mel Parnell, who made three apiece. Lester is 15-3 in 25 career starts vs. the Orioles, including wins in his first 14 decisions. His 2.94 career era against the Orioles is best among active pitchers.

* Lester beat the Yankees last April, making him the first Sox lefty to win an opener since Gary Peters in 1970 at New York.

* The last time the Sox opened in Camden Yards was in 2004, when they lost 7-2 to the Orioles. That was the game Terry Francona said Pedro Martinez left before the end of the game, which Martinez has disputed. What really happened? We put the question to MLB.com reporter Ian Browne, author of "Idiots Revisited," the newly published saga of the ’04 team (published by Tilbury House). “Pedro says he was in a family room next to the clubhouse because he didn’t want to speak with reporters," Browne said. And what does Francona say? He held to his story, adding that he had no desire to stir up any controversy.

* The Sox have not beaten the Orioles in an opener since 1982, a 2-0 win at Memorial Stadium. They’ve played each other in only three openers over the last 25 years.

* With 10 Opening Day starts for Boston, David Ortiz leads all active Sox. Dustin Pedroia is making his eighth. Pedroia has hit safely in all seven of his previous openers.

* Ortiz and Pedroia are the only players on the Sox roster who have gone deep in openers. Each has done it twice.

* A.J. Pierzynski’s 14th start is the longest among all active MLB catchers.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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