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Beckett returns against Indians

Beckett returns against Indians

How good are things going for the Red Sox?

Josh Beckett, the team's best pitcher this season, hasn't pitched since May 13 and the Red Sox have padded their American League East lead an additional 3 1/2 games since the righty went on the disabled list with an avulsion on his right middle finger.

For the record, Beckett steps back on the mound Tuesday night against the Indians. The Red Sox are a team clicking in every possible way, leading the American League East by 11 1/2 games over the Orioles.

"The biggest thing about our team is we have a lot of depth," said Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis.

The Red Sox have won 19 of their last 25 games. The 35-15 start ties the 1986 squad for second best in club history.

"To be 50 games into a season and be double digits up on anybody is good," said right-hander Curt Schilling. "It has nothing to do with where we will be on Labor Day, but we are a good team."

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Josh Beckett (7-0, 2.66 ERA)
The 27-year-old right-hander still is chasing Roger Clemens' 1986 club record of 14 consecutive wins starting the season, but has never beaten the Indians. In two career starts against Cleveland, Beckett is 0-2 with a 13.97 ERA.

CLE: LHP Jeremy Sowers (1-4, 6.29 ERA)
After beginning the season 0-4 with a 7.13 ERA in his first eight starts, Sowers had his best start of the year on Thursday against the Royals. He went seven strong innings and allowed one run on six hits -- all of them singles -- while walking one and striking out one. It was his first victory in 10 starts, dating to Sept. 5.

Player to watch
Youkilis, who hit an inside-the-park homer Monday night, will try to run his career-long hitting streak to 21 games.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NESN

On radio
• WRKO-680 AM, Spanish Baseball Network (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 7-2, 4.43) vs. Indians (Paul Byrd, 5-1, 3.81), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 5-5, 3.36) vs. Yankees (Chien-Ming Wang, 3-4, 4.13), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Red Sox (Julian Tavarez, 3-4, 5.40) vs. Yankees (Mike Mussina, 2-3, 5.86), 3:55 p.m. ET

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