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Beckett sharp again

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  April 1, 2008 12:50 PM

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In what was likely his final tuneup before rejoining the rotation, Red Sox ace Josh Beckett fared well against minor leaguers today in an extended spring training game in Fort Myers, Fla.

According to ABC7 sports reporter Noah Pransky, Beckett showed no signs of the back injury that kept him from starting the season opener in Japan, allowing just two hits in five innings while striking out six. The only run off Beckett came on a solo homer from Yahmed Yema, a Single A outfielder. Beckett threw 64 pitches, 47 for strikes.

The Sox have yet to decide officially whether Beckett will pitch Sunday in Toronto, following Tim Wakefield and Clay Buchholz. Over the weekend, manager Terry Francona implied that barring a setback, Beckett will be ready to face the Blue Jays. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday.

Francona said Beckett may have some concerns about going deep into the game, but he said with the Sox having an offday the following day (after Sunday's game in Toronto), overtaxing the bullpen is not an issue.

Background material from the Globe's Gordon Edes was used in this report.

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