Josh Beckett hyperextends knee

Updated: July 9, 2011, 4:55 PM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett was removed from Friday's 10-3 win after the fifth inning for precautionary reasons with a hyperextended left knee.

"It's a little tender," Beckett said after the game. "It's not too bad, though. I've done this before, playing basketball when I was younger. It's called a loose joint, and when things go a little too far, it scared me more than anything."

The right-hander slipped on the wet rubber during the fifth inning and the game was halted so the grounds crew could place quick-dry on the mound. Beckett finished the inning but was replaced by reliever Matt Albers to start the sixth inning.

"Everything was fine before that," he said. "It was just more of a precautionary deal. Doc told me he thinks I'll be fine in a couple of days."

Beckett also said he doesn't believe this will affect his availability to pitch in the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Phoenix.

"It scared me when it first happened," he said. "It literally feels like bone on bone. You go too far and even now, straightening it out is a little bit of an issue, but the doctor thinks I'll be fine in a couple of days."

The Red Sox have already lost starters Jon Lester (lat strain), Clay Buchholz (back strain) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (Tommy John surgery), all of whom are on the disabled list. Also, John Lackey has been inconsistent since his trip to the DL with an elbow strain.

On a positive note, Beckett earned his eighth victory of the season on Friday. In fact, his 2.27 ERA before the All-Star break is the sixth-best by a qualifying Red Sox starter since 1946. The last Red Sox pitcher with a lower ERA at the break was Pedro Martinez, who posted a 2.26 in 2001.

Beckett has held opponents to a .187 batting average, which is the third lowest by a qualifying Red Sox pitcher before the break since 1946. Martinez held opponents to .164 in 2000.

Beckett's outing on Friday ended a franchise record of nine straight games in which he allowed five hits or fewer, while pitching at least six innings.

"It was good," Beckett said of his first half. "I'm not trying to reflect now. We've got a little break here, and I've got a pretty good break, with hopefully a couple of innings on Tuesday, and then we'll run back at it. We'll get Lester back, hopefully Buch's feeling better with a little time off, and we can get everybody rolling and start doing what we're supposed to do."

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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