One day later, Josh Beckett remained in the rotation.
Beckett allowed a season-high eight runs on eight hits, including three homers, Wednesday in the Boston Red Sox’s loss to the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park. However, he didn’t report any ill effects from the back spasms that caused him to miss his previous start, according to manager Bobby Valentine, and he has been penciled in to pitch next week in Baltimore, either Tuesday or Wednesday.
“A lot of times, after he has a long rest, he doesn’t quite have his touch, and the next time out he does. Hoping that’s the case,” Valentine said before Boston lost 5-3 Thursday in the series opener at Cleveland.
Nevertheless, the Red Sox are sticking with six starters in their rotation. After right-hander Clay Buchholz pitches Friday night in Cleveland, lefty Franklin Morales and struggling ace Jon Lester will pitch Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
A day off Monday would allow the Red Sox to go back to Beckett in the series opener against the Orioles on Tuesday night. However, Valentine said right-hander Aaron Cook likely would pitch in the Orioles series, too.
Beckett and Lester are a combined 10-19 with a 5.18 ERA. Worse yet, the Red Sox have gone 15-27 in their 42 starts. If they were merely 21-21, Boston would be leading the wild-card race and making the first-place New York Yankees sweat.
“It’s always surprising to see guys like that struggling,” Cleveland Indians right-hander Justin Masterson, who teamed with Beckett and Lester with the Red Sox in 2008-09, told the Boston Herald. “I know those guys, and they’re probably not happy with what’s going on. I’m sure they’re doing everything they can to help the team win.”