Beckett looking to snap personal skid on birthday

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Beckett looking to snap personal skid on birthday

BOSTON -- Josh Beckett makes his seventh start of the season on Tuesday as he takes on the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.

At 2-4 with a 5.97 ERA, he'll be looking to snap out of a personal two-game skid. He's also looking to get away from tipping his pitches, something that Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine had implied was the issue last Thursday when Beckett was lit up for seven runs in 2.1 innings against the Cleveland Indians.

It's also Becket's 32nd birthday, but Valentine doesn't see that as a distraction.

"I think guys always like to perform well on their birthday," said Valentine before Tuesday's game. "When you're the kind of pro that Josh is, I'm just happy that he has the ball. If he could pitch more than once every five days and I'd be happy to give him that. I think he's ready to go."

As for Beckett's previously sore lat muscle, Valentine clearly doesn't see it as a concern now. He acknowledged that Beckett took part in some batting practice before the upcoming weekend inter-league series in Philadelphia.

As for any potential concern for Beckett's velocity and that previous lat issue, Valentine also didn't think his decrease in pitch speed was a concern, if there even was a decrease.

"It depends on what the hitters are seeing," said Valentine. "Some of these guns are weird. So I'm not trusting all gun speeds . . . There's been times when his fastball has been plenty to control the head of the bat."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia will start behind the plate for Beckett for the first time since Beckett's first start of the season in Detroit on April 7. Kelly Shoppach started behind the plate as his catcher for the ensuing five games.

Quotes, notes and stars: Ramirez knows error 'can't happen'

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Quotes, notes and stars: Ramirez knows error 'can't happen'

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels ofAnaheim

Quotes:

"I tried to get two (outs) before I got one. That can't happen." - Hanley Ramirez on his throwing error which cost the Red Sox the game.

"Executing pitches - that's the name of the game." - David Price on improvement he showed from his last start.

"Fourth time through the order, middle of the lineup. . . Price had done his job. In a one-run game, we felt it was best to start a clean inning with a reliever." - John Farrell after lifting David Price after eight innings and 108 pitches.

Notes:

* Reliever Brad Ziegler was charged with the loss for the second straight game.

* Each of the last seven Red Sox losses has been by one or two runs.

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base in 31 consecutive games.

* The Red Sox four-game losing streak is their longest of the season.

* The Sox are now 9-23 in their last 32 meetings with the Angels.

* David Price did not allow a run for the second time this season.

Stars:

1) David Price

After a stretch of shaky outings, Price did his job with eight scoreless innings, getting 14 outs on groundouts while walking just one.

2) Jered Weaver

At times, the radar gun made Weaver's pitches look like softball offerings. But mixing junk, he held the Sox to a single run over 5 1/3 innings

3) Mookie Betts

He had just one hit - single in the eighth - but his sacrifice fly in the third produced the only run of the night.