Sunday July 18, 2010 | 06:03 PM

Hello again from Fenway, where the grounds crews is taking out the pitching mound in preparation for the soccer game this week. Can't wait to see how that game affects the already bumpy Fenway infield.

After Sunday's game, the Red Sox announced that Josh Beckett will come off the disabled list Friday and start at Seattle. With Clay Buchholz also returning, the Red Sox rotation for this week is:

Monday: Matsuzaka; Tuesday: Wakefield; Wednesday: Buchholz; Thursday: Lackey; Friday: Beckett; Saturday: Lester.

One can only assume that Tuesday will be Wakefield's last start.

As for Sunday's 4-2 loss to Texas, Jon Lester pitched well (8 IP, 9 H, 4 R [3 ER] 3 BB, 6 K). But the defense behind him was not at its best, and the offense sputtered.

Boston could use some hitters to heal quickly. After getting two runs on five hits, do you think Boston could have used Victor Martinez and Dustin Pedroia on Sunday?

With the Yankees beating the Rays on Sunday, Boston is now 6.5 games behind New York, still 3.5 behind Tampa Bay.

While the Red Sox play at Oakland Monday night, Tampa Bay is at Baltimore. New York begins a home series with the Angels on Tuesday.

As for the minors, Pawtucket lost 3-0. Lars Anderson (.248) had a double.

Portland beat New Britain 4-2. Stephen Fife (6-2, 3.58) was on his game with six innings of shutout ball (2 H, 3 BB, 5 K) ... Anthony Rizzo was 2-for-4 with his 10th home run.


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.

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