Red Sox to hoist championship banner in Fenway opener with Brewers

( - The Boston Red Sox will raise their third World Series championship banner in 10 years on Friday when they start a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers in the 114th home opener and 103rd at Fenway Park. The Sox are 59-43 in openers at Fenway. Boston has won nine straight home openers and are one of just four teams in Major League history to do so (NY Yankees, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati).

The Red Sox will also receive their World Series rings as part of the pregame ceremony.

"It's a great experience. I have been lucky to have been through it before," said World Series MVP David Ortiz, who is the only Red Sox player to be on the other 2004 and '07 championship teams. "We all look forward to Opening Day at home, especially the way things went last year."

Boston returns to Fenway on the heels of taking two of three from the Baltimore Orioles to start the season. In Thursday's rubber match Ortiz had three hits and an RBI to lead Boston to a 4-3 win.

Xander Bogaerts went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Jackie Bradley had two hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Red Sox, who won the last two games of the set.

"Being able to take advantage of the opportunities when they are given to you feels good," said Bradley. "I'll take it and look forward to tomorrow."

Felix Doubront (1-0) gave up six hits and three runs with a walk and four strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings to pick up the win.

Jake Peavy will get the call for the Red Sox on Friday. Peavy was acquired from Chicago at last season's trade deadline and was a big part of the team's championship run, going 4-1 with a 4.04 ERA in 10 starts after the trade.

The former National League Cy Young Award winner also made a start in each round of the playoffs for the Red Sox.

Peavy has faced the Brewers nine times and is 3-3 with a 2.48 ERA against them.

Milwaukee, meanwhile, opened its season by dropping two of three to the Atlanta Braves, including a 1-0 setback in Wednesday's rubber match at Miller Park.

Matt Garza (0-1) was spectacular in that one, as he retired 11 straight batters to start the game and recorded seven strikeouts across eight innings in his Brewers' debut. His only mistake was a Chris Johnson home run that turned out to be the only scoring in the game.

"It's one mistake and that's it. It's the big leagues. You have to pay for things like that," said Garza, who inked a 4-year, $50 million contract with the Brewers in January.

Getting the call for the Brewers on Friday will be righty Marco Estrada, who was 7-4 last year with a 3.87 ERA in 21 starts. He got better as the season wore on and was 3-0 over his final nine starts. He also struck out 118 batters in 128 innings, and limited hitters to a .229 average and posted a 1.08 WHIP, best among the team's regular starters.

However, he did allow 19 home runs.

The pregame ceremonies will also touch upon the Boston Marathon bombing and include a moment of silence in tribute to Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, who perished last week when a 9-alarm fire raged through a Back Bay home a mile and a half from Fenway Park.

The firefighters were from the station on Boylston Street that also protects the ballpark.

The teams last met in 2011 at Fenway, with the Red Sox taking two of the three games.