Josh Beckett cleared to pitch in Tuesday’s All-Star Game

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Red Sox starter Josh Beckett made it through a bullpen session on Sunday morning without having any problems with his hyperextended left knee, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.

As a result, the Boston ace has been medically cleared to participate in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Beckett has registered a dominant 2.27 ERA and 0.95 WHIP through 17 starts this season, tallying 94 strikeouts over 111 innings in a remarkable first half. He finished with a 5.78 ERA in 21 total starts last year, but is bouncing back in a big way. American League skipper Ron Washington will likely ask him to go two frames in the Midsummer Classic.

Yankees acquire A.J. Cole from the Nats

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The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.

Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.