Josh Beckett Making Long-Awaited Return to Fenway Park

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Josh Beckett Making Long-Awaited Return to Fenway Park It’s been nearly three months since Josh Beckett took the mound at Fenway Park. His return comes at a time when his team really needs him.

Following a 6-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a four-game set Monday, the Sox turn to Beckett to get back in the win column.

Boston enters the day 6 1/2 games behind both the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees in the American League East. It is 2-2 on the current seven-game homestand, which precedes a visit to the Yankees for four games starting Friday.

David Huff goes for the Indians, who have won three straight.

WHEN AND WHERE

Indians (45-61) at Red Sox (60-46)
Tuesday, August 3, 7:10 p.m.
Fenway Park, Boston

HEAD TO HEAD

Cleveland has won the last three matchups.

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP David Huff (2-9, 6.04 ERA)  vs. RHP Josh Beckett (2-1, 6.33 ERA)

Since returning from the disabled list, Beckett has looked like the pitcher we all expected to see when the season began. In two starts he has allowed four runs on 10 hits in 12 2/3 innings.

Beckett picked up his first win since April 10 by lasting seven innings in a 7-3 win at Anaheim six days ago.

The 30-year-old owns a 6.56 ERA in six career starts against Cleveland. It is the highest mark he has against any AL team other than Toronto.

Huff is being recalled from Triple-A Columbus to make the start. He had a 6.04 ERA in 13 starts for the Indians earlier in the year but did not allow an earned run in six innings against Boston on June 8.

LINEUPS

Indians Red Sox
Trevor Crowe, CF 
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Shelley Duncan, LF
Jordan Brown, DH
Matt LaPorta, 1B
Luis Valbuena, 2B
Jayson Nix, 3B
Lou Marson, C
Marco Scutaro, SS
Darnell McDonald, CF
Victor Martinez, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Mike Lowell, 1B
Jed Lowrie, 2B
Bill Hall, LF
Ryan Kalish, RF

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Tim Wakefield and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski are the only two Red Sox players to appear in a game at the age of 44.
  • Outfielder Ryan Kalish is the first Boston player to tally three hits in a game within his first three career games since Nomar Garciaparra in 1996.
  • Designated hitter David Ortiz is batting .326 (15-for-46) over the course of an 11-game hitting streak, the fourth-longest of his career.

Indians

  • Outfielder Shelley Duncan had a career-high four hits Monday.
  • Right-hander Fausto Carmona on Monday became the first Cleveland starter to pitch seven innings or more and allow one earned run or less at Fenway Park since CC Sabathia on Aug. 1, 2006.
  • Closer Chris Perez has not allowed a run since June 28, spanning 14 1/3 innings.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • First baseman Kevin Youkilis left Monday’s game with a jammed left thumb. He will receive an MRI on Tuesday morning.
  • Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had a CT scan Friday which revealed significant healing in his broken left foot. He is performing virtually all activities and could return soon.
  • Catcher Jason Varitek also had a CT scan on his broken foot and was able to get rid of his crutches. He will remove his protective boot Saturday and can slowly begin to incorporate more activities. Varitek remains weeks away.
  • Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (rib) will play his third rehab game with Pawtucket on Tuesday.
  • Mike Lowell (hip) remains on the DL days after completing a rehab assignment with Pawtucket. A roster move involving Lowell could occur soon. He was 11-for-22 with four homers in just five rehab games for the PawSox.
  • Righty Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.

Indians

  • Catcher Carlos Santana left Monday’s game with a left knee injury. He will receive an MRI on Tuesday.
  • Designated hitter Travis Hafner is day-to-day with a sore right shoulder. He may be placed on the DL.
  • Right-hander Mitch Talbot was placed on the DL last week with a back strain.
  • Left-hander Aaron Laffey is on the DL with a fatigued left shoulder.
  • Center fielder Grady Sizemore (left knee surgery) is out for the year.
  • Right-hander Anthony Reyes (Tommy John surgery) is on a minor league rehab assignment.

OUTLOOK

When the Red Sox began their current seven-game homestand, there was talk that anything less than a 5-2 record would be somewhat tough to take, especially considering the daunting 10-game road trip on the horizon.

Now at 2-2, the Sox need something special from Beckett. It will be his first home start since May 7.

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