Lewis: Wilson deserves Opening Day start

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis said lefty C.J. Wilson has earned the Opening Day start in 2011.

Manager Ron Washington said Tuesday that Wilson will be on the mound on April 1 when the Rangers open at home against the Red Sox. That means Lewis will likely follow Wilson in the club's second game.

"He's very deserving," Lewis said. "He stayed healthy all year and this team won most of the time he started. He had a great year and should start that game."

Lewis, who had the honor of starting Opening Day (and the home opener) one season in Japan, is excited about teaming up with Wilson at the top of the rotation.

"They can split up the lefty and the righty and both of us will end up facing good starters," Lewis said. "My focus is on improving and continuing what I did last year so that I can help this team again."

Lewis was 12-13 with a 3.72 ERA last season, but was sensational in the postseason. He was 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four starts (26 1/3 innings). He beat the Yankees twice in the ALCS and was the starter in the club's only World Series win.

Once the off days start, who got the Opening Day start doesn't matter as much in terms of matchups. The rotations change and it's not just ace vs. ace anymore. That first series, Lewis possibly face Josh Beckett or Clay Buchholz if Jon Lester starts Opening Day, depending on what the Red Sox decide to do with the rotation.