Josh Beckett will miss his scheduled start Friday in Detroit with back spasms, Red Sox manager Terry Francona announced before Tuesday's game with Toronto.
Beckett originally was moved from Wednesday to Friday in order to get in an extra side session and work out some of his kinks. But the right-hander, who has a 7.46 ERA through his first seven starts, tweaked his back taking swings in the batting cage Monday afternoon as pitchers prepare to hit in games at Philadelphia next weekend.
Beckett was given a full examination Tuesday morning. The issue was found to be confined to the muscles in his lower back.
"That's good," Francona said of the diagnosis, which ruled out any structural damage. "He's got a spasm in his lower back. Like any of you or me, you wake up, and it's tight, and you feel it. You just have to let it relax a little bit."
Francona said that pitchers have been increasing their work with the bat for some time now, from hitting off the tees to soft toss to full batting practice.
Beckett was taking full cuts when he felt the injury.
Tim Wakefield was already given the Wednesday start in place of Beckett. Clay Buchholz will now take Friday's start on five days' rest, and the rotation will follow in its regular order from there.
"[Beckett] will not pitch on Friday, but because of Wake going tomorrow and the day off [Thursday], we can stay right in order, and everybody actually still gets an extra day, so that works out really well," Francona said.
As for when Beckett returns, that remains to be seen. Francona said that if the righty recovered quickly, it is a possibility he could be slotted back in out of turn.
According to the team, Beckett was going to throw an extra side session — his second since a rough outing Friday against the New York Yankees — on Tuesday. Pitching coach John Farrell said much of the work was going to focus on Beckett pitching from the stretch and establishing better command of his curveball.
Beckett, who turns 30 on Saturday, has given up at least seven runs in three of his last four starts. He was reached for nine in just 5 1/3 innings against the Yankees, falling apart in a six-run sixth.
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