Notes: Beckett done in by a couple of pitches

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Notes: Beckett done in by a couple of pitches

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHILADELPHIA - For someone who had been felled by the flu and hadn't pitched for 13 days, Josh Beckett didn't pitch horribly Tuesday night.

He made two bad pitches that resulted in four runs, however, and that was way more than Cliff Lee, the opposing starter, needed to beat the Red Sox.

"You can't give that guy two runs in the second inning," said Beckett. "That just lets him go to his whole deal. I've got to battle a little better than that."

Asked if the pitches that Domonic Brown and Shane Victorino smacked for two-run homers were where he wanted him, Beckett, self-effacing as always, cracked: "They were where they wanted them."

Allowing himself some credit, Beckett added: "I felt like I made a couple of nice pitches when I needed to."

Beckett, whose last outing saw him allow just one baserunner in a win over Tampa Bay, "just didn't feel as strong," said Terry Francona. "But I thought he felt like he had to pitch and I thought he did. But the two pitches, that's four runs."

"He made two mistakes," agreed catcher Jason Varitek, "and they got us for two big home runs. Other than that, I thought he did a real good job of trying to get himself back on the mound."

Bobby Jenks and Franklin Morales, both fresh off the disabled list, got an inning each of work Tuesday.

In the eighth, Jenks, activated after missing a few weeks with a strained intercostal, allowed an infield hit and a walk, but also struck out two.

Jenks made a one-inning appearance for Portland (Double A) over the weekend and was eager to contribute after having his first season in Boston interrupted twice by injury twice in the first three months.

"I'm just excited to be back," said Jenks. "I think I might be the most frustrated one here. When I came back from the DL the first time, I was throwing the ball extremely well and then this happened.

"Nobody could be more frustrated than I am or more happy to be back. Hopefully, this will be the last time (he's sidelined with an ailment) and I can just roll into September and the playoffs extremely happy."

Asked how he was dealing with the frustration, Jenks joked: "Lots of Nicorette gum."

To make room for Jenks, the Sox sent Scott Atchison back to Pawtucket.

Morales looked sharp in the seventh inning, getting a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts.

The Red Sox swapped out lefty Tommy Hottovy for lefty Morales, who had been on the DL with elbow inflammation.

Outfielder Carl Crawford tested his pulled hamstring by running six 90-feet sprints at about half-speed.

Crawford is eligible to come off the DL Sunday in his hometown of Houston, but that looks like a long shot.

Francona had Darnell McDonald hitting fifth, despite the fact that the outfielder was hitting just .103 with a homer and three RBI.

"We thought about moving (Jason Varitek) up one," said Francona. "I thought about a few things, but I didn't think there
was a better lineup."

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

One White House tradition will have to wait, if it’s in fact maintained.

President Donald Trump is not going to throw out a ceremonial first pitch for the Washington Nationals this season, according to the Washington Post.

Post reporter Barry Svrugula wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the White House declined an invitation from the Nats.

POLITICO reported early Tuesday morning that Trump was in talks to throw out the first pitch and that it was also possible he could spend an inning in the MASN booth.

President William Howard Taft began the custom of U.S. presidents throwing out a first pitch on April 14, 1910, at National Stadium in D.C.

According to The Week:

“Since Taft, every president not named Jimmy Carter has thrown out at least one Opening Day first pitch. The executive guests of honor followed in Taft's hefty footsteps, throwing the first ball from the stands, until the late 1980s when Ronald Reagan sauntered onto the mound and improved upon the tradition."

The most famous presidential pitch in recent memory is George W. Bush’s toss during the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

The Nats open their season on Monday at home in Washington D.C., in a 1:05 p.m. game against the Miami Marlins. A Nationals Magic 8 Ball is to be given away to the first 20,000 fans.

The Red Sox happen to play the Nats in a pair of exhibitions right before the season, on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game is at the Nats’ home park in D.C. Saturday’s game is to be played in Annapolis, Md., at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Evan Drellich talks with Toucher and Rich about who the starting catcher will be and should be for the Red Sox. Christian Vazquez appears to be all the way back from Tommy John surgery. Can he hit?