Beckett throws simulated game

Posted March 04, 2011, at 3:24 p.m.
Last modified March 04, 2011, at 10:43 p.m.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston Red Sox righthander Josh Beckett threw 40 pitches in a three-inning, simulated game on the back field at City of Palms Park on Friday.

Beckett missed his scheduled start on Thursday. He experienced mild concussion symptoms after being hit in the left temple on Monday by an errant ball while shagging flies in the outfield during batting practice.

Beckett is expected to make his next start on Tuesday. The Red Sox have split-squad games that day against the Astros at home and in Jupiter, Fla., against the Cardinals.

Beckett faced six Red Sox minor leaguers, throwing a mix of all his pitches.

“I felt good,” he said. “It’s a (simulated) game. There’s just not a lot of adrenaline and stuff that goes into that. But I like it when the guys go up there and swing. (It) gives you a little bit of feedback one way or the other. It’s hard to get a lot of feedback if the guys don’t swing, just not a lot of things that correlate to a game unless you have a little bit of something going on.”

Beckett said although he has not lifted weights since the incident, he feels that his overall condition and arm strength are where they need to be. The work he’s been able to get in has allowed him to continue his regular progression.

“Yeah, I think I’m right there,” he said. “I wouldn’t have thrown that many pitches. I probably would have thrown less than that, in fact, unless I would have ran into a long inning and even then, they wouldn’t have let me go over so many pitches in one inning.

“As far as workload, yes. As far as the other things that go into actually pitching in a spring training game, (those) are a little bit different, whether it be routine or stuff like that.”

Beckett said he is still feeling the effects of being hit.

“I’m actually good,” he said. “(But) I’m really sore on the left side of my head. My jaw and stuff like that are pretty sore. But I think I’m pretty much back to normal.”

He didn’t notice the concussion symptoms until the day after the incident.

“I don’t think initially I was that scared,” he said. “It actually took when I went to lunch (the next day) and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be away from my house without laying down. And that’s when I finally said, ‘Hey, there’s something wrong here.’ Because I was kind of resistant to even thinking I had a concussion.

“I tried to come in the next day. I was like ‘Oh, I’m ready to go back to work. Let’s get this over with.’ And I found out that day when I went to lunch. It was a little bit of a setback.”

Beckett is coming off a disappointing 6-6 season in which he had a 5.78 ERA with 45 walks.

Red Sox 5, Yankees 3

TAMPA, Fla. — Bartolo Colon made Russell Martin’s first game behind the plate an easy one, striking out five in three impressive innings against a lineup of Boston backups before the New York Yankees lost to the Red Sox 5-3 Friday night.

Martin caught five innings without trouble, although he went 0 for 3 and is hitless in nine at-bats this spring. Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Martin was taking it slow this spring after having offseason surgery to repair a minor tear in his right knee.

Colon, the 2005 AL Cy Young winner who was out of baseball last year, is trying to earn a spot in the Yankees’ rotation. He allowed two hits while throwing 35 of 43 pitches for strikes.

Clay Buchholz gave up a hit in three scoreless innings for Boston.

Orioles 6, Tigers 2

LAKELAND, Fla. — Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland was more concerned about his young pitchers on Friday than the outcome of a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Rick Porcello gave him reasons to be pleased. Everyone else was another matter.

Porcello retired the first eight batters he faced and tossed three scoreless innings, before Nolan Reimold and Jake Fox homered to lead the Orioles to a 6-2 win.

“It’s early for all of them,” said Leyland, who used six pitchers in the game. “We didn’t hit much. I thought Porcello was good, better. I liked that. I thought he threw the ball well.

“I thought he looked like he should look for his second outing.”

Porcello will likely face the Tigers in his first start of the regular season.

“I’ve just got to keep grinding on it, working on it in bullpen and make sure I’m ready to go,” he said. “The mindset of being relaxed but also being aggressive on the mound, I think it carries over from start to start.”

Detroit came into the game with a major league-low 2.01 ERA this spring, but the guys who followed Porcello to the mound sure had some trouble.

Reimold sent a three-run shot to left off Tigers reliever Charlie Furbush in the sixth inning, and Fox added his second of the spring off Alberto Alburquerque in the eighth. Reimold and Fox have now accounted for half the Orioles’ eight homers through five games.

“So far, so good,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, whose team returns to Sarasota to face the Red Sox on Saturday.

The Tigers scored first when rookie Andy Dirks, trying to make the roster as a backup outfielder, doubled with one out in the first. He scored when shortstop Nick Green lost a high fly ball by designated hitter Brennan Boesch and it fell for a single.

Detroit’s other run came with two outs in the ninth when first baseman Ryan Strieby hit a solo homer to left, giving him the team lead with four RBIs this spring.

Strieby, a 25-year-old prospect whose natural path to the majors is blocked by Miguel Cabrera, has impressed Leyland with a quick swing.

Taiwanese reliever Fu-Te Ni hasn’t allowed a run in three appearances for Detroit. He got the final four outs of the game and has given up one hit in 3 1-3 innings.

Detroit rested most of its regulars in anticipation of split-squad road games Saturday in Dunedin and Kissimmee. Leyland will be in Kissimmee to watch Justin Verlander make his second spring appearance against the Astros, while Cabrera and Austin Jackson will be among those playing against the Blue Jays.

NOTES: Daniel Schlereth, who injured his left hamstring Monday and hasn’t pitched since, said he threw long toss Friday. “It doesn’t have to be 100 percent,” he said. “It’s not like I’m running sprints all over the place. I just want to be able to pitch.” Leyland also didn’t have a timetable for the return of Joel Zumaya or Carlos Guillen. … Taiwanese reliever Fu-Te Ni hasn’t allowed a run in three spring appearances. He retired the final four batters of the game, striking out one. He’s allowed one hit in 3.1 innings. … Orioles LHP Brian Matusz had a wart removed from the middle finger of his left hand on Friday in Philadelphia. He’s expected back in camp on Saturday and should be throwing within a few days. …Baltimore 1B Derrek Lee, who’s recovering from off-season surgery on his right thumb, still won’t play Saturday because of soreness just above his right wrist. … Orioles LHP Justin Duchscherer, who’s been sidelined with an injury to his left hip, will throw batting practice on Saturday and could pitch Tuesday.

Mets 4, Marlins 3

JUPITER, Fla. — Chris Young allowed an unearned run in three innings, helping the New York Mets beat the Florida Marlins 4-3 Friday.

Young gave up two hits, struck out two and walked none, throwing 28 of 51 pitches for strikes. He has not allowed an earned run during five innings in spring training.

Javier Vazquez made his first spring training appearance for the Marlins and allowed one run and three hits in three innings. He struck out three and walked none.

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