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Beckett's playoff start is delayed

September 29, 2008|From the Associated Press

BOSTON -- Josh Beckett's first start in the American League first-round playoffs series against the Angels was pushed back to Game 3 after the Boston Red Sox ace injured his side throwing a bullpen session.

Jon Lester will pitch the opener for the Red Sox at Anaheim on Wednesday night, followed by Daisuke Matsuzaka on Friday night, Manager Terry Francona said.

Beckett is slated to start Sunday's game at Fenway Park. A fourth game, if necessary, would be played in Boston the next night.

Francona said after Sunday night's regular-season finale that Beckett strained the oblique muscle in his side during his normal side session Friday.

In 2007, when the Red Sox won their second World Series in four years, Beckett was 4-0 in the postseason after a 20-7 record with a 3.27 earned-run average in the regular season. In 10 postseason outings during his career, he is 6-2 with a 1.73 ERA.

He was 12-10 with a 4.03 ERA this season, in which he had two stints on the 15-day disabled list because of back spasms and inflammation in the right elbow.

On Aug. 29, Beckett was examined by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

"I don't trust anybody more than I trust him when it comes to stuff like that. Just to go down there and hear it from him. It's something I needed to do, just to clear my mind," Beckett said then. "He said my ligament looked fine. That's what I was afraid of. . . . It was a big relief."

Beckett has struggled at times this season, including his last outing of the regular season, in which he gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings in a 4-3 loss to Cleveland, hitting three batters for the first time in his career.

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