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Beckett picks Friday start

BOSTON — Red Sox RHP Josh Beckett, who missed his previous start with a sprained right ankle, will return to the rotation Friday against the Rays, manager Terry Francona said.

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After a pain-free long toss session Tuesday, Beckett was given the option of starting tonight or Friday. Francona picked rookie RHP Kyle Weiland to start tonight's game for the struggling AL wild-card leaders, rather than LHP Andrew Miller.

Francona told NESN he had several reasons for choosing Weiland over Miller, despite Weiland's poor outing against the Rays on Saturday.

"I think we felt that with the righty against them (it would be better). He had a real good bullpen (session)," Francona said of Weiland. "We just think he can rise to the occasion and give us a chance to win."

RIVERA'S MILESTONE: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera became the second pitcher to reach 600 career saves late Tuesday in a 3-2 win over the Mariners. Rivera went into Wednesday's late game one save shy of Trevor Hoffman's career record.

"I don't know if we'll ever see it again," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "That's how much of an accomplishment this is that he and Trevor Hoffman have done. Simply remarkable."

POSEY PROGRESSING: Buster Posey is still on schedule to catch a bullpen session in Arizona before season's end, a goal established by the Giants training staff after the reigning NL rookie of the year sustained a season-ending broken left leg in May. Posey played catch on the field for the third time.

EX-PITCHER ARRESTED: Former reliever Curtis Leskanic faces charges of driving under the influence and child neglect without harm after his arrest Sunday in Altamonte Springs. Leskanic, 44, had a blood-alcohol level of .331, according to an arrest affidavit. He was found passed out at the wheel of his pickup with his 5-year-old daughter asleep and unrestrained in the truck, according to the report.

MCCOURT DIVORCE: Dodgers owner Frank McCourt will keep paying $225,000 per month to ex-wife Jamie, but money once used toward the mortgages of six luxurious homes will come from a $1.1 million escrow account, attorneys said.

ASTROS: OF Jason Michaels is out for the season after breaking his left hand making a diving catch Tuesday night.

BRAVES: RHP Tommy Hanson, on the DL with a slight rotator cuff tear, said he felt good after throwing 44 pitches in a bullpen session and hopes to pitch in a game before the postseason.

CARDINALS: LF Matt Holliday has an inflamed tendon in his right middle finger and will be shut down for at least 4-5 days.

METS: LHP Johan Santana, trying to come back from shoulder surgery last September, was scratched from today's scheduled rehab start at Class A Savannah. He will instead will throw a simulated game this weekend.

REDS: RHP Johnny Cueto left with two outs in the fourth inning with a strained muscle in the upper right side of his back.

ROCKIES: C Eliezer Alfonzo became the first player suspended twice under Major League Baseball's drug program and will serve a 100-game suspension. Alfonzo said he was surprised by the positive test and intends to fight the penalty in arbitration.

Beckett picks Friday start 09/14/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 10:25pm]
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