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Beckett to miss one start?


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MIAMI -- With an off-day Monday, the Marlins are in no rush to speed up the recovery of Josh Beckett's strained lower back/rib cage.

So rather than risk further aggravation to his left side, Beckett's next start is shaping up for Saturday, June 26, at Tampa Bay.


The 24-year-old Spring, Texas, native was in line to start on Tuesday at home against the Braves. That would be his normal fifth day.


"We're in no rush to get on his turn," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "We need a pitcher next Saturday."


Beckett pulled a muscle in the back/rib cage portion on his left side in the fourth inning of Thursday's 2-1 win over the White Sox in 11 innings.


Dominant in his first start since coming off the disabled list with a blister to his right middle finger, Beckett tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out eight of the 13 batters he faced. But in the fourth inning, the hard-throwing right-hander felt something pull while throwing a split-finger fastball to Frank Thomas.


Beckett labored on, retiring Thomas and Carlos Lee. Visibly uneasy to catcher Mike Redmond and the dugout, Beckett worked an 0-2 count on Jose Valentin. After strike two, Redmond approached the mound, and Beckett was lifted on a night he was masterful.


"He might have struck out 15 or 16," McKeon said. "He was as close to being [like he was] in the sixth game of the World Series (last year) than any other time this year."


Beckett, the World Series MVP, has the overpowering fastball and curveball that made him a postseason star. He is hopeful to be back on Tuesday, but that scenario is unlikely.


"If it keeps getting better, I don't see why I won't be able to do that," Beckett said. "It's not anything you can automatically count on."


Beckett is taking medication to reduce the pain. He said it was a struggle getting into his car to drive home after Thursday's game. The discomfort to his side caused a restless night of sleep.


"Another day-to-day [situation]," Beckett said. "Tomorrow, maybe we'll know more."


The Marlins have flexibility in the rotation because they are off Monday. Instead of rushing Beckett, they likely will go against the Braves with Carl Pavano on Tuesday, Brad Penny on Wednesday and Dontrelle Willis on Thursday. A.J. Burnett would pitch Friday at Tampa Bay, and Beckett on Saturday.






So far doesn't sound like DL will be necessary which is always a good thing. Just don't want to hurt it worse

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