Sox to use 6-man rotation 'til break?

SEATTLE -- It seems as if Boston manager Bobby Valentine is ready to go with a six-man rotation from now through the All-Star break, which will be upon the Red Sox in just over two weeks.

The wild card in all this is the reintroduction of Josh Beckett, who hasn't started a game since June 11 while spending a stint on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder.

He'll go on Saturday in the wake of Thursday starter Franklin Morales and Friday's arm Aaron Cook. Felix Doubront, who would otherwise have pitched Saturday, gets pushed back to Sunday.

That leaves Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jon Lester to take the first two games in Oakland Monday and Tuesday before Morales closes out the road trip against the A's.

"I think you really need 10 starters coming out of spring training," Valentine said. In addition to the five in the rotation, he'd like to have two or three potential starters in the bullpen and three or two more available at Triple-A.

"We haven't built that to the full 10 yet, but we're close."

And they are likely to get closer when Clay Buchholz, on the disabled list with a stomach illness, returns.

Buchholz, who spent part of Wednesday at a charity event without drawing the consternation of the Red Sox, is eligible to come off the DL the last day the team is in Oakland, but isn't likely to be activated until the team returns home next weekend.