The grandstand was full today at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI, as Red Sox ace right-hander Josh Beckett took the mound for what will likely be his penultimate rehab start before re-joining the ball club for the second half of the season.

Beckett left the crowd contended with an effective four-inning outing in which he allowed one run on two hits, while issuing no walks and striking out four against the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS). While it was an effective outing, it really can’t be classified as a “sharp” outing, as Beckett threw only 42 of his 68 pitches for strikes.

One of the really promising developments in the game is that he hit 96 miles per hour on the radar gun, although the gun at McCoy Stadium is known to be a “fast” gun.

Veteran major leaguer Kevin Mench lined a single into center field in the second inning and Jason Botts pulled a fastball into the right-center field seats for a solo homer in the fourth inning.

That was the entire Chiefs’ attack while he was in the game.

Beckett has been on the disabled list (lower back strain) since May 19th. It seems likely he will have one more minor league rehab assignment, on July 16th, before making his much-anticipated return to the Red Sox rotation.

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