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Beckett regrets pitching hurt

He hopes to make a start next week

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / May 5, 2012
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Josh Beckett revealed on Friday that he went into his start against the White Sox last Sunday with pain in the latissimus muscle behind his right shoulder. The injury worsened after he threw 126 pitches on a cold day.

“I wanted to pitch and I probably should have been a little smarter before my start and maybe brought something up,’’ Beckett said.

Said manager Bobby Valentine, “In retrospect, it would have been nice to know that.

“We have a system set up to have information flow. It seemed like there was a little snag there. It’s not up to him to come into the manager’s office. You talk to the pitching coach all the time and trainers all the time. That information usually flows up.’’

Beckett said the muscle was giving him problems for about a week but he went ahead and pitched, giving up three runs over 6 2/3 innings in a game the Red Sox lost, 4-1.

“You can always on your start day make yourself believe you’re better than you are,’’ Beckett said. “I wasn’t very smart about it.’’

Now Beckett will miss his start against the Orioles on Saturday. But he expects to return to the rotation next week.

“I’m pretty optimistic that this next start is going to be fine,’’ said Beckett, who played catch from 90 feet before Friday night’s game. “Felt a lot better today than I did the day before my last start.’’

Beckett will play catch again on Saturday, then start his usual pre-start routine. He agreed that missing a start made sense.

“They didn’t really give me a choice in it,’’ Beckett said. “Bobby came in the training room and said, ‘Hey, you’re going to miss a start.’ It wasn’t totally shocking when he came in there and said it. It was something that was discussed before that.’’

Change of plans

Daisuke Matsuzaka did not make his scheduled start for Triple A Pawtucket Friday because of pain on the left side of his neck.

He is now tentatively scheduled to start for the PawSox at McCoy Stadium Monday against Rochester. Matsuzaka threw a 45-pitch bullpen session at Fenway Park on Friday.

“Nothing to do with his throwing, he felt great throwing,’’ Valentine said. “Rather than having him pitch with any kind of ailment, we got it better.’’

Matsuzaka, who is recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery, has made two minor league rehab starts and will make at least two more before being cleared to return to the majors.

If all goes well, Matsuzaka could be ready around the middle of the month. His rehab assignment could go 30 days, however. That period ends May 23.

Cook ready

Righthander Aaron Cook gave the Red Sox little choice but to add him to the roster, pitching well in spring training then posting a 1.89 earned run average in five starts for Pawtucket.

Now he’ll get his chance against the Orioles on Saturday.

“This was where I wanted to be the whole time,’’ said Cook, who had the right to opt out of his minor league contract on Tuesday.

Once an All-Star for the Rockies, the 33-year-old Cook has had his career derailed by a series of injuries that included shoulder pain, a fractured finger, a sprained toe, and a broken bone in his right leg, the result of a line drive.

Now he’s healthy and throwing his sinker like he did a few years ago.

“My consistency is what’s better. I’m not really throwing harder than I was,’’ Cook said. “I can throw it and not be hurt. When a pitcher goes out there with confidence, that can lead to success.’’

Cook, who was given No. 35, said he was given no indication whether he will stay in the rotation after his first start. Valentine said a six-man rotation has been discussed but no decisions have been reached.

“I know I’m taking the ball Saturday,’’ Cook said. “Whatever happens after that, we’ll get ready and go.’’

Cook was 72-68 in 10 seasons with the Rockies. After spending a few months with the Sox, he is glad he made the switch.

“It really paid off being patient,’’ he said. “I definitely made the right choice.’’

Prospect suspended

Major League Baseball suspended Single A righthander Mathew Price for 50 games after a second violation for a drug of abuse.

Price is on the Greenville roster but is on the disabled list. He was an eighth-round pick in 2010 out of Virginia Tech and was signed for $415,000 despite elbow concerns that led to Tommy John surgery that fall. He was 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA last season.

The Red Sox did not offer any comment.

Exposito returns

The Orioles called up catcher Luis Exposito from Triple A Norfolk before the game when outfielder Nolan Reimold (back) went on the DL. Exposito was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox April 17. “The Sox gave me my chance and I’m grateful,’’ Exposito said. “But I’ve had a lot of fun with the Orioles and I’ve had a chance to play a lot.’’ Exposito hit .310 in 10 games with Norfolk. He flied out in the 13th Friday night after entering the game an inning earlier . . . Cody Ross picked up a bunch of T-shirts from the El Pelon Taqueria near Fenway Park and gave them to Alfredo Aceves, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis. He also kept one for himself. Why? El Pelon means “The Bald Guy.’’

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com.

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