Beckett will try to break Boston's slump

Beckett will try to break Boston's slump

The Red Sox will try to snap a four-game losing streak behind the right arm of Josh Beckett on Tuesday night against the Athletics.

The road trip got off to a solid start, with the Sox taking two out of three in Anaheim. But it's gone downhill rapidly, and Boston has not won since Beckett's last start.

The Red Sox will be short-handed again, minus their two superstar sluggers. DH David Ortiz has been sent back to Boston to have an irregular heartbeat checked by doctors. Manny Ramirez isn't expected to play for the rest of the road trip because of an ailing right knee. Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon and Alex Gonzalez are all on the disabled list.

The Red Sox will try to rally without much of their nucleus.

"All we can do is focus on what we have to work with," said Red Sox reliever Mike Timlin. "We have guys in here that are going to try as hard as they can to play. If breaks don't go our way, they won't go our way. If we get beat, we get beat. We have to go out there and throw all we have out on the line the best we can. If we lose, we're going to lose trying as hard as we can try."

With 31 games left in their season, the Red Sox trail the Yankees by seven games in the American League East and the Twins by six games in the Wild Card standings.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Josh Beckett (14-8, 5.21 ERA)
Beckett is coming off one of his best starts in some time, as he went six innings and gave up one run in a win over the Angels. He had to leave one batter into the seventh inning after developing a small cut on his right middle finger. The right-hander has had mixed results against Oakland this season, going 1-1 with an 8.71 ERA in two starts.

OAK: RHP Kirk Saarloos (6-6, 4.66 ERA)
Saarloos'last start came on August 20 against the Royals. It was his second straight start where he held the opponent to two runs over six innings. In three games (one in relief) in August, the right-hander has three wins with a 2.25 ERA.

Player to watch
A's outfielder Milton Bradley is 4-for-10 lifetime against Beckett.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WEEI 850 AM, WROL 950 AM (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 14-6, 3.95) at Athletics (LHP Barry Zito, 14-8, 3.64), 3:35 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Red Sox (LHP David Wells, 2-3, 4.98) vs. Blue Jays (RHP Roy Halladay, 16-4, 3.12), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Red Sox (RHP Kyle Snyder, 3-3, 6.91) vs. Blue Jays (LHP Ted Lilly, 11-11, 4.78), 7:05 p.m. ET

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.