Josh Beckett set to start on Thursday

KANSAS CITY — Josh Beckett is set to start for the Red Sox on Thursday when they return home to face Cleveland.

“He threw today and said he felt fine and ready to go,” Bobby Valentine said.

Beckett had his last start skipped because of a strained lat muscle on the right side of his back.

Valentine was asked why Beckett didn’t pitch in yesterday’s 17-inning game. He said only that pitching coach Bob McClure was “taking roll call.”

Valentine said the only starter he talked to personally was Jon Lester and he had already thrown a bullpen session. Beckett has not pitched since April 29.


Darnell McDonald, by the way, didn’t volunteer. He was told he was pitching.

Here’s Valentine’s take on some other topics:

On the team not making a roster move today: “It would have meant taking somebody who doesn’t deserve to go down off the roster and considering no one pitched on consecutive days other than [Scott Atchison], we might have enough. Hope so.”

Felix Doubront had yet to go beyond six innings in a start. How might that affect things tonight? “It’s a concern. But he’s had a little longer rest and there might be an opportunity to throw him a couple more pitches.”

On Mark Melancon’s performance in AAA: “I have very good reports on him. His stuff has been good from what the reports say, Location, attitude. It sure seems like he’s pitching well enough.”

Melancon has thrown 7.2 scoreless innings in seven appearances, striking out 12 without a walk.

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