Red Sox Notebook: Beckett Perfect In Opener

Josh Beckett picked up Thursday where he left off last October as he struck out four in two perfect innings to lead the Red Sox to a 24-0 win over Boston College in the first game of a doubleheader against collegiate squads. Beckett threw 25 pitches, 18 for strikes.

In the nightcap, the Sox blanked Northeastern University 15-0. Starting pitcher Justin Masterson, Diehard's third-ranked prospect, allowed a single in two innings of work.

"Just like I wanted it to be," Masterson told The Boston Globe. "If that was an Opening Day start, of course I wouldn't be as happy as I am now. But I felt comfortable out there, just was underneath a couple of sinkers. Like the one base hit was just down the side of it and it just hung there and the guy put a nice swing [on it]."

The two college squads combined for just three hits off the Sox—one by Boston College and two by Northeastern.

The Sox will open the Grapefruit League portion of their schedule Friday when they face the cross-town Twins at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers in the first game of the "Mayor's Cup" series. It's the first of five games this spring between the two clubs.

Terry Francona told reporters that most of the Sox' everyday position players will start against the Twins, including Mike Lowell, Julio Lugo, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis. Coco Crisp and Bobby Kielty, who are likely battling for one reserve outfielder spot, are also scheduled to start. Daisuke Matsuzaka will take the mound.


Colon not done yet: Bartolo Colon spoke to reporters Wednesday and said he hopes to prove wrong those who believe he is finished as an effective pitcher following two injury-shortened seasons.

"A lot of teams were saying I can't still pitch, so I'm trying to take this opportunity to show those teams I can still pitch," Colon told reporters via his interpreter.

Colon said at his press conference that it was up to the Sox to determine how long he would remain in the minor leagues, but Jon Heyman of SI.com reported Thursday Colon can request his release if the Sox do not promote him to the majors by May 1.


Schill speaks: Curt Schilling appeared on WEEI Radio Thursday morning and said his rehab program is still in the infant stages.

"I'm on their timetable," Schilling told hosts John Dennis and Gerry Callahan. "I'm really kind of week to week. I find out what my plan is for the week, and we get after that week, and at the end of the week we assess where we're at and we move to the next stage."

Schilling told the hosts that he planned to remain with the Sox—for both home stands and road trips—throughout his rehab and that he looked forward to serving as a mentor for some of the younger pitchers on the staff. "If there's anything I can do to help some of these young kids, I'll be doing that," Schilling said.


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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