Josh Beckett to return Saturday

Updated: June 21, 2011, 5:59 PM ET
By Steve Krasner | Special to ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Josh Beckett, who on Monday was scratched from his Tuesday night start against the San Diego Padres because of "intestinal turmoil," still wasn't looking all that well Tuesday afternoon, said Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona in his pregame chat with the media.

Francona said Beckett is expected to return to the rotation on Saturday night in Pittsburgh.

"It was necessary what we did," said Francona of holding back Beckett.

"This (pitching him Saturday) will allow him to have a side day and it will be a relatively normal week for him," said Francona.

The Red Sox have some flexibility in slotting their starting pitchers for the next week or so because Boston has scheduled days off Thursday and next Monday. The versatility and effectiveness of Alfredo Aceves, who was taking Beckett's start Tuesday night, Tim Wakefield and recently promoted Andrew Miller, has helped, too, as the Red Sox try to find ways to keep everyone as fresh as possible with an eye toward pitching late into the fall in the playoffs.

Wakefield will pitch Sunday in Pittsburgh, the city where he started his big league career, and Miller will open the three-game series in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Steve Krasner is a regular contributor to ESPNBoston.com.

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