Beckett Ready To Return Friday, Wake to the Pen

SEATTLE (AP) – Tim Wakefield is heading to Boston's bullpen when

two-time All-Star Josh Beckett returns from the disabled list

Friday to make his first start since mid May.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said dryly before Thursday

night's series opener at Seattle that “I don't think he wanted to

hug me” after telling the 43-year-old knuckleballer he was going

to be a reliever again.

Francona says it's what's best for the struggling team. Boston

began Thursday 2-5 since the All-Star break and seven games out in

the AL East.

Wakefield was selected for the All-Star team last season for the

first time but is 3-8 with a 5.58 ERA this season. He was unable to

hold onto a 4-0 lead in Tuesday's loss at Oakland. He allowed three

earned runs in six innings.


(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


AP-NY-07-22-10 2052EDT