Thursday May 10, 2012 | 09:41 AM

The Boston Red Sox have begun May by losing 7-of-8 games; losing 5 straight at home, and then 2-of-3 at lowly Kansas City.

So it's time to scream ... at Josh Beckett.

Beckett, who was a target after last year's chicken-and-beer fiasco, is now being scrutinized for playing golf last Thursday when he supposedly was recovering from a sore lat muscle.

On one hand, Beckett's round of golf has little to do with Boston losing 7-of-8. On the other hand, it is just another example of Beckett exercising poor judgment. Either he doesn't realize how it looks to play golf when you are supposedly hurt, or he doesn't care (I suspect the latter).

But can we be honest? If the Red Sox were atop the AL East standings and purring along, Beckett playing golf would matter little. Beckett has always come across as uncouth and strong-headed. No one cared about that in 2007 when Beckett was 20-7 and then the star of the post-season.

Beckett (2-3, 4.45) is scheduled to start tonight, weather permitting, against old friend Derek Lowe (4-1, 2.39).

In Triple, shortstop Jose Iglesias went 2-for-5, and is now batting .444 (12-for-27) in his last 7 games ... Daniel Nava (3-for-4) keeps hitting after a slow start, now batting .316 ... Junichi Tazawa pitched a 1-2-3 inning, with 1 K ... Mark Melancon kept his minor league ERA at 0.00 with a scoreless inning (2 H, 2 K).

It was a surprise when outfielder Juan Carlos Linares was assigned to Double-A this year. He was in Triple-A when he was hurt last season. And he should be back with Pawtucket. He went 3-for-4 Wednesday with 2 doubles, upping his average to .358 ... Bryce Brentz (.243) has homered in consecutive games and now has 3.

Stolmy Pimentel looked solid over 6 innings: 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K ... Brock Huntzinger (2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) was solid in relief.

Pitcher Anthony Ranaudo has reportedly joined the Sea Dogs, although he has not officially been activated, and manager Kevin Boles would not say when that would happen.

Salem outfielder Jackie Bradley is now batting .378.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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