OAKLAND, Calif. - It looks like Josh Beckett will oppose Roy Halladay next Sunday at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
That was after Beckett had a successful final outing today for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla., against the Lowell Spinners. Beckett went five innings and threw 64 pitches and came out of the outing with his once-sore back feeling fine.
"More likely than not he's going to pitch the final game in Toronto," said Sox manager Terry Francona before the game against the A's. "I reserve the right to sit with Theo [Epstein], John [Farrell] and Josh together, and there's no reason to have that conversation until he does his work after the start."
*Francona did not promise any future leadoff duty for Jacoby Ellsbury, who was leading off and playing right field tonight.
"We're trying to patch things together so we put together a lineup that we send out there more often than not," said Francona. "This was, we can use his speed, use [Kevin Youkilis's] good at-bats and Mike Lowell's to keep the lineup nice and stretched out."
*As promised, J.D. Drew was not in the lineup. He'll play tomorrow. Coco Crisp was to play center field.
*Francona said Bobby Kielty was on his way to Pawtucket, where he'll report after accepting an outright assignment Monday. The Sox likely will keep him down until there's an outfield opening, an injury, or a potential deal for Crisp.
*Mike Timlin could be pitching in Pawtucket April 7 and 9. The reliever, who had two stitches removed from his right ring finger Sunday, has begun a throwing program that was increased to 90 feet yesterday.