Josh Beckett cleared to start Thursday versus Indians

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Josh Beckett skipped his scheduled Saturday start because of a sore lat muscle and Aaron Cook had a disastrous outing in his place, but Beckett avoided the disabled list and has been cleared to rejoin the rotation Thursday versus the Indians.

Beckett told Ian Browne of MLB.com that he won’t have any pitch count restrictions after missing just one turn in the rotation and he’d thrown 126, 100, and 110 pitches in his previous three outings.

Since an ugly season debut versus the Tigers on April 7 in which he served up five homers Beckett has started four games with a 2.93 ERA and 21/8 K/BB ratio in 28 innings.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.