Josh Beckett OK to pitch for AL team

Updated: July 10, 2011, 1:57 PM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- After throwing a side session Sunday morning at Fenway Park, Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett has been deemed healthy and given medical clearance to pitch for the American League All-Star team Tuesday in Phoenix.

The right-hander was removed from his last start on Friday after five innings with a hyderextended left knee.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona informed Major League Baseball on Sunday that Beckett is good to go.

"It's a little tender," Beckett said after Friday's 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.

Sunday's news is welcome for the Red Sox's pitching staff, which has 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.

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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