Beckett, like Lester, fails Red Sox down the stretch

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Beckett, like Lester, fails Red Sox down the stretch

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

BALTIOMRE -- Josh Beckett and Jon Lester were supposed to represent one of the Red Sox' strengths in September, and, they hoped, October, too.

But it hasn't turned out that way.

Beckett lost to the Baltimore Orioles for the second time in the last week Monday, knocked around for six runs in six innings. That outing came five days after he couldn't hold a 4-1 lead last week at Fenway, and lost that one, too.

"You can't be (crappy) when your team needs you," said Beckett. "It's tough, but that's the way it is."

In nine games started by Beckett and Lester this month, the two are 2-5 with an ERA of 5.73. The Sox have lost five of their last six starts.

"I couldn't make pitches when I needed to," said Beckett. "We've got to win games and we're not going to do it when the starting pitcher gives up six runs."

Beckett has a 7.03 ERA against Baltimore this season despite the fact that the Orioles are in last place in the American League East.

"I guess it comes down to making pitches," said Beckett. "I know in my last two, it comes down to making those pitches when I need to. You can't leave the changeup (to Chris Davis for a double) or the pitch to (Robert) Andino (who hit a three-run inside-the-park homer.

Beckett had to work with Jarrod Saltalamacchia for the first time this season after Jasin Varitek was scratched before the game, unable to go because of a sore knee.

Beckett said he and Saltalamacchia worked fine together. He also said his right ankle, which caused him to miss a start earlier this month, has not been an issue since he returned.

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

Ortiz to play rest of regular season for Sox with guaranteed rest before playoffs

Ortiz to play rest of regular season for Sox with guaranteed rest before playoffs

NEW YORK -- Now that the division title has been wrapped up, the Red Sox turn their attention to getting ready for the post-season -- but not at the expense of trying to win as many games as possible.

Part of the planning for the Sox involves how much to play David Ortiz, who is retiring when the Red Sox are through in the post-season.

On Thursday night, his final road game and last appearance at Yankee Stadium, the Sox planned to have Ortiz get at least two at-bats in recognition of the fans in New York who wanted to see him one more time.

As for the last series at Fenway, it will be business as usual with Ortiz playing all three.

"We don't foresee any pullback in terms of his number of at-bats," said Farrell of the weekend series with Toronto. "It's a weekend of celebration well-deserved and we'll have time to recover."

Farrell noted that under the current playoff format, teams which win their division get three full days off after the final regular season games. That helps in preparation.

"The importance of winning and maintaining our daily approach is priority No. 1," said Farrell. "How that might affect how deep a starter goes in the upcoming games might be looked at a little more closely. Still, we feel it's imperative to secure as much home field as we can."

On Thursday night, Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and Sandy Leon were all given the night off. Others will get the same opportunity over the weekend.