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Josh Beckett's sore thumb forces him out of Dodgers' 5-4 loss early

His pitching line looked good. It was how the thumb felt that was the problem.

Right-hander Josh Beckett returned to the mound Friday, throwing three sharp, scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out one.

The one problem: He was scheduled to go four innings but had to exit because of a sore thumb that he originally injured in an accident with a clubhouse door.

The right thumb grew more sore as he continued to throw in a game eventually won 5-4 by the Cubs in Mesa, Ariz.

“It’s just sore,” Beckett said. “It’s not getting worse, but it’s not getting better.”

Beckett, who’s coming back from surgery to remove a rib that was causing nerve pressure and hand numbness, said he might have the thumb re-examined in the next few days. Beckett is not scheduled to go to Australia with the Dodgers for the season’s first two games. And with the Dodgers not really needing a fifth starter until the middle of April, he’s expected to begin the season on the disabled list.

Beckett said the thumb mostly bothered him when trying a curveball grip. Friday he threw mostly fastballs and changeups, though even they began to bother his thumb in the third inning.

The score was tied 1-1 on Friday when reliever Jamey Wright gave up four runs in the sixth inning. Maybe he should tell himself he does have to make the team.

For the first time in nine years, Wright went to camp with a guaranteed contract. He pitched his way on to a team in each of the previous eight springs. Now he’s struggling. In five appearances he has a 10.50 ERA.

He gave up four hits and recorded two outs in the sixth. Luis Valbuena had a two-run homer among the four hits.

Alex Guerrero, who apparently hasn’t gotten the memo that Dee Gordon has already won the second base job, doubled in one run for the Dodgers. Gordon, however, tripled in a run of his own. Catcher Drew Butera hit a solo home run for the Dodgers in the ninth.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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