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Beckett tweaks back while taking batting practice

05.10.10 at 11:27 pm ET
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Before Monday’s game, the Red Sox noted that Josh Beckett‘s struggles were mechanical, and had nothing to do with health. The right-hander’s scheduled start against the Blue Jays on Wednesday was pushed back not for any physical reason, but instead because he simply could use extra time working with pitching coach John Farrell to refine his delivery after yielding nine runs in his most recent outing against the Yankees.

Just before the game, however, Beckett injured himself while taking some hacks in the indoor batting cage. Sox pitchers are preparing for the onset of interleague play next weekend in Philadelphia, and while swinging, Beckett — whom manager Terry Francona said had experienced some minor back discomfort when he woke up recently — tweaked his back.

“He had a stiff back the other day,” said Francona. “He started to swing the bat. He felt it, and it grabbed at him a little bit. We’ll get him checked out tomorrow. It’s a little bit of a coincidence, because he was going to pitch Friday and Wake was going to pitch Wednesday. … When he was swinging tonight, it spasmed up on him a little bit. So we’ll get him checked out [Tuesday].”

Francona was unsure whether the pitcher’s Friday start would be put in jeopardy; the team will await a medical evaluation of the pitcher on Tuesday morning before making that determination.

“We really don’t know,” Francona said of Beckett’s availability to pitch on Friday.

Beckett has experienced back discomfort in the past, most notably when he started the 2008 season on the disabled list after catching a spike on the mound in spring training. Beckett also missed a start towards the end of the 2009 season with back discomfort that resulted from “three crappy beds on the road.”

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