TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -Chicago's Mark Buehrle was named the White Sox opening day starter Friday.
Buehrle will begin the season March 31 at Cleveland as the ace of the White Sox starting rotation. It will be Buehrle's sixth opener in the last seven years for Chicago.
``Any time you start opening day it is an honor,'' Buehrle said.
Said Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen: ``He has earned it. He is the guy we believe that can be our man.''
Javier Vazquez, who was also in the running for the starting nod, will be No. 2 in the rotation, and is scheduled for the White Sox home opener on April 7 against Minnesota.
Left-hander John Danks, righty Jose Contreras and right-hander Gavin Floyd will make up the rest of the rotation.
``I have always said Buehrle deserves it,'' Vazquez said after his Wednesday start. ``He has been a great pitcher, a consistent pitcher... I think he deserves it. Opening day is a great honor, but after that it is just another game.''
Buehrle has been scratched from Saturday's start against the Chicago Cubs as a way to save his arm from throwing too much in the spring, a measure that was talked about since the opening of the spring workouts. Nick Masset will get the start instead.
Buehrle has thrown 1,577 innings since 2001, the second most in the major leagues. He has a 2.70 ERA so far in three spring starts, allowing three runs and eight hits in 10 innings.
Buehrle is slated for two more spring starts before the regular season opener.
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