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Beckett out with inflammation; Morales to start

Beckett out with inflammation; Morales to start

Beckett out with inflammation; Morales to start
CHICAGO -- Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett has been scratched from his Sunday night start at Wrigley Field because of right shoulder inflammation, the team announced after Friday's 3-0 loss to the Cubs.

Instead of calling up a pitcher from the Minors, manager Bobby Valentine will call on lefty reliever Franklin Morales to fill in for Beckett.

"Josh has a little inflammation in his right shoulder," said Valentine. "The training room thinks that it's best that he's rested a little."

Beckett declined comment after Friday's game, saying he would elaborate on Saturday.

In 12 starts this season, Beckett is 4-7 with a 4.14 ERA. He didn't show any signs of injury in his last start, a loss to the Marlins in which he allowed four runs over the first two innings, then didn't allow a hit across his final five frames.

"He may get some tests," Valentine said. "I think they want to do a baseline [exam] to figure out where we are with that whole situation, so there might be tests."

Beckett missed a start earlier this season with a mild lat strain, but the team admitted to being overly conservative on that occasion, saying the righty could have started.

"He didn't feel it during a side [session]; just in the training room," Valentine said. "When they test him, they felt he's not quite recovering on a five-day rotation right now."

Morales last started a Major League game in 2009. As a reliever this season, he is 0-1 with a 3.04 ERA, holding opponents to a .236 average.

On June 3 at Toronto, Morales pitched a season-high 4 1/3 innings.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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