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BOS@MIA: Beckett fans five over seven innings in loss

The Red Sox will be happy to welcome back Josh Beckett to the rotation Saturday against the Mariners. Beckett, who has been sidelined since June 11 with right shoulder inflammation, will return and be opposed by Erasmo Ramirez at Safeco Field.

It's been a little more than two weeks since Beckett made his last start. But before hitting the 15-day disabled list, the 32-year-old had gone at least seven innings in each of his past six starts. However, he had lost three of those -- including his latest to Miami -- and was frustrated to the point where he stopped speaking with the media.

"We're frustrated, everybody is," said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia after the 4-1 loss in which Beckett went seven innings and allowed four runs. "We want to win. We've got guys that care and we expect to do something special."

At the time, the Sox were three games under .500. Since then, they've rattled off a 12-4 record to climb from last place in the American League East division to third -- their highest standing of the year.

Beckett might be rusty, but with the extended rest he won't be tired. He is 7-2 with a 3.03 ERA in 10 career starts vs. Seattle. He is 2-1 with a 3.33 ERA in Safeco Field. Even if the righty shows signs of rust, Boston is hoping his track record plays in its favor.

Ramirez, a 22-year-old rookie making his fourth career start, is still searching for his first career victory. After throwing a combined nine innings in his first two starts, the righty pitched eight innings of three-hit, one-run ball against Oakland on Monday.

"I just get the same confidence as before, but in my mind I was more prepared," said Ramirez, who struck out a career-high 10 batters. "The first outing I was trying to be too perfect, trying to throw as hard as I can and maybe I didn't control my body. In the last outing, I just work and keep the same confidence, positive and just try to throw the ball down."

Red Sox: Six-man rotation
• With Beckett's return, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said the team will stick with a six-man rotation through the All-Star break. With Clay Buchholz out due to esophagitis and the Daniel Bard experiment not working out, Valentine wants to keep his limited arms fresh.

"You know, if ever a guy is out of gas, it might be now," Valentine said. "It's not necessarily even a physical thing. You start looking at the finish line and you lose stride. I think when a guy has that extra day, you can kind of put aside the idea that he's tired."

• David Ortiz is sitting on 399 career home runs. If and when he hits No. 400, he would become the eighth active player to reach the mark. He is currently tied with Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline for 49th on the all-time home run list.

• Injured outfielder Carl Crawford played in his fourth rehab game Friday for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox. He played left field for six innings and went 0-for-2 with a run and two walks. Jacoby Ellsbury began his rehab stint -- also with the GCL Red Sox -- and went 1-for-4 with an RBI double while serving as the team's designated hitter.

Mariners: Suddenly short on outfielders
• Michael Saunders missed Friday's game suffering from flu-like symptoms. As a result, Chone Figgins got the start in left field. Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who was hit in the face on a pickoff throw Thursday night, suffered a slight concussion and was placed on the seven-day DL. Reliever Steve Delabar was recalled to take his roster spot.

• Ichiro Suzuki is 9-for-33 (.273) with a home run and two RBIs vs. Beckett. Figgins, who isn't a regular starter but could see action again Saturday, is 8-for-26 (.308) with two doubles and one RBI.

Ichiro's next home run will mark the 100th of his career. He will become the 12th player in franchise first with triple-digit homers.

• The Mariners have played the most road games (43) in the American League this season. They are tied for the most in the Majors with St. Louis. Seattle is currently in the midst of a 10-game homestead, its longest of 2012 thus far.

Worth noting
• The Red Sox's 12-4 record since June 11 is tied for the second best in the AL, trailing only the Rangers.

• Boston is 218-159 vs. Seattle all time, good for the top winning percentage for any AL club against the Mariners since their first season in 1977.

• The Mariners are just 3-11 against AL East clubs this year. Comments