Salty, not Shoppach, behind plate for Beckett

Salty, not Shoppach, behind plate for Beckett

BOSTON -- With the Mariners starting right-hander Blake Beavin on Tuesday, manager Bobby Valentine elected to go with Jarrod Saltalamacchia instead of Kelly Shoppach, who is a weaker hitter against right-handers.

Tuesday's game marked the first time since April 7 that Saltalamacchia served as Josh Beckett's batterymate. In the right-hander's next five starts, Shoppach was behind the plate.

While it appeared Shoppach had taken over for Jason Varitek as Beckett's preferred catcher, Valentine said earlier in the homestand Beckett and Shoppach would not necessarily be paired every time out.

"I'd say it's open," Valentine said. "I don't think [Shoppach catching Beckett has] proved to be the solution to any situations that we're dealing with."

Saltalamacchia's caught Beckett four times overall, and the results haven't been stellar: 19 earned runs in 22 2/3 innings for a 7.54 ERA.

Saltalamacchia felt Valentine just wanted to play the matchups, saying he'll face right-handers while Shoppach will start vs. southpaws.