The visit to Bradenton wasn’t very kind to Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox on Friday afternoon as they fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-7 at McKechnie Field.

Beckett seemed to be feeling the effects of the flu bug that caused him to miss his last start. He wasn’t particularly sharp as he gave up four runs on six hits and two walks with a strikeout in 3 2/3 innings of work.

The key for Beckett though is that he got his work in:

“It would’ve nice to take 70 pitches a little further than 3-1/3, but I think we got our work in. Obviously, the numbers don’t look good, but the most important number for me today was 70 pitches. You miss a start during spring training, it’s pretty tough. But I knew I had to do something. There was no way I could’ve pitched the other day. I was basically bed-ridden for four days. You try and get what you can in, but today was definitely moving in the right direction. “I don’t think [Opening Night] will be a problem. We’ve got two or three more starts. Hopefully, I feel good enough tomorrow to go in and get a full week [of workouts] in this week.”

Scott Atchison allowed a two runs (one earned) on two hits and walk in 1 2/3 innings while Brian Shouse gave up a hit in his inning. Jorge Sosa took the loss as he allowed two runs on four hits with a strikeout. Junichi Tazawa gave up a run on a hit in his inning of work.

David Ortiz continues to swing a hot piece of lumber has he went 2-for-3 including a two-run homer. Jeremy Hermida also added a solo shot. The Red Sox did have 14 hits on the afternoon and Josh Reddick was the only one besides Big Papi to have two hits.

The Red Sox return to action on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. at City of Palms Park when the Baltimore Orioles come to town. Tin Wakefield will make the start for the Red Sox.

Tomorrow’s game will be shown on NESN in the Red Sox television market and will also be available via the radio on WEEI 850 AM.

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Youk’s diary: All about the Mayor’s Cup [Kevin Youkilis – ESPN Boston]

Matsuzaka to pitch in game on Sunday [Alex Speier –]

Beckett says he’ll be ready for opener (updated) [Clubhouse Insider]

Lowell takes his hacks [Clubhouse Insider]

Red Sox notes: Beckett struggles in return [CSN New England]

Sources: Cubs, D’backs interested in Boof Bonser [CSN New England]

Red Sox have Hall on their short list [CSN New England]

Scout wowed by Ortiz [ESPN Boston]

Scouts will be out in force for Lowell [ESPN Boston]

Beckett: Out of bed is progress [ESPN Boston]

Checking in with Francona [Extra Bases]

Lowell on 1B, hitting [Extra Bases]

Red Sox fall to Pirates [Extra Bases]

Tom Verducci on D&C: Yanks have rotation edge on Sox [Full Count]

Lowell: ‘You never know what’s going to happen’ [Full Count]

Red Sox Friday Notes: A bench with bling [Full Count]

Beckett anticipates being fine for Opening Day [Full Count]

Depth to be tested in coming days [Projo Sox Blog]

Beckett pleased with pitches, not results [ProJo Sox Blog]

John Farrell’s son gets a hit against Red Sox [ProJo Sox Blog]

Dice-K set for Minor League start Sunday []

On the mend, Beckett labors through start []