It’s not official, but Lester lined up for Game 1

Red Sox manager John Farrell declined to name his rotation for the American League Division Series. But he did reveal that Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy would pitch in the instrasquad game at Fenway Park Wednesday afternoon.

“You can deduct from that what you wish,” he said.

In that case, feel free to assume that Jon Lester will start Game 1 on Friday with John Lackey following in Game 2 on Saturday. Then Buchholz and Peavy will follow.

The Red Sox will not know their opponent until Wednesday night when Cleveland hosts Tampa Bay in the wild-card playoff game. But how their rotation lines up is not contingent on the opposition.


Lester was 15-8 with a 3.75 earned run average. The lefthander earned the Game 1 start by going 7-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 13 starts after the All-Star break.

Lackey (10-13, 3.53) was 6-3 with 2.47 ERA in 13 starts at home, so starting Game 2 makes sense for him.

“I think the rotation couldn’t be any better than what it sets up,” Peavy said. “Jonny Lester’s been the horse here all year. He’s made every one of his starts. He led his team in innings; he pitched as well as anybody the second half in baseball. He deserves to be the guy going out there,”

Buchholz said he would pitch one or two innings Wednesday as preparation for his start on Monday in Game 3. Peavy could go a little longer given that his last start came on Sept. 25 in Colorado. If Game 4 were necessary, it would be Tuesday.


• Mike Napoli sat out four games after the Red Sox clinched the AL East, played three games, and now will have four days off before playing again.The first baseman said the troublesome plantar fasciitis in his left foot has largely abated.

“It’s going to help it a lot,” he said. “It was kind of bothering me a little bit at the end of the season. Just trying to get to where we clinched so I could get some time off.


“I was able to get back in Baltimore and felt pretty good, felt better. These four days here just taking it easy will help out tremendously.”

• As a former Indians player and executive, Farrell is happy to see Cleveland back in the postseason after a five-year drought. He sent a congratulatory text message to manager Terry Francona.

“I think because you have past experiences with many people, you want the best for them,” Farrell said. “There’d be an incredible amount of side stories if we do meet up with them in the Division Series.

“In some ways it’s reminiscent of the ALCS in ’07 [between the Red Sox and Indians]. There’s so much crossover that still exists between people that have worked either starting in Cleveland and then coming here and now it’s in some ways reversed with Tito going back there and leading their team. Hopefully, we’ve got a chance to meet up.”

• The Red Sox arrived Tuesday to find new red sweatshirts with the 2013 postseason logo hanging in their lockers. They also have a new cap with the logo on the side.

• Rookie infielder Xander Bogaerts turned 21 on Wednesday.

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