BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox placed pitcher Josh Beckett on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain.

Manager Terry Francona said Wednesday he hoped Beckett would miss just one start and that Tim Wakefield would pitch in his place Sunday at Philadelphia. Righty reliever Joe Nelson was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Francona said the team wanted to be cautious with Beckett.

“The last thing we want to have happen is have him pitch with a (bad) back and turn the back (injury) into something else,” Francona said, “where he feels like he’s not using his legs (and) he hurts his shoulder.”

Beckett left Boston’s 7-6 win Tuesday night at New York after a two-run double to Robinson Cano with two outs in the fifth. The Yankees played the game under protest after Beckett was replaced by Manny Delcarmen. Pitching coach John Farrell had signaled for Delcarmen before Francona and a trainer went to the mound.

Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said Delcarmen shouldn’t have been given all the time he needed to warm up.

 

THE YANKEES filed their protest of Tuesday night’s loss to the Boston Red Sox.

A spokesman for Major League Baseball confirmed that the commissioner’s office received the official paperwork before a deadline early this morning.

New York claimed there was no indication of an injury before Beckett came out in the fifth inning. Still, Delcarmen was given all the time he needed to warm up on a damp and chilly night.

The Yankees, who were leading 5-0 at the time, protested to umpire crew chief Larry Vanover after the inning.

MLB is expected to respond within five business days. Bob DuPuy, baseball’s chief operating officer, normally rules on protests.

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman explained that the issue for the Yankees was not whether Beckett was hurt. Their protest centers on the way he was removed from the game and whether Delcarmen should have been given only the standard eight pitches to warm up.

When a pitcher leaves a game with an injury, rules allow for his replacement to take as much time as needed to get loose.

“To me, he shouldn’t get all his pitches there,” Girardi said after the game. “In my eyes it was not done in the right way.

“Anytime a guy is in trouble, you signal to the bullpen and say, ‘Oh, he’s hurt.’ That’s a huge advantage.”