Beckett takes big step forward, plays catch

Beckett takes big step forward, plays catch

BOSTON -- Red Sox ace Josh Beckett took his most significant step forward in a while, when he played catch before Saturday's game. Beckett has been on the disabled list since May 19 because of a lower back strain.

During a side session May 28, Beckett felt some discomfort in his lat muscle. A few days later, the Red Sox told Beckett not to do any throwing for 10 days. That rest period ended Saturday, and now Beckett will build up a steady progression.

"Thirty throws at 60 feet and he felt terrific," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He'll move out to 90 [on Sunday]. We'll kind of do that for a few days and then there will be a down day and we'll get him [to] 120 [feet]. But he had a real good day. He was really excited about how he felt."

Beckett has made eight starts this season, going 1-1 with a 7.29 ERA.